Europe – Fury as Italy quashes asbestos conviction in ‘trial of century’ – France 24

An Italian flag reads “Eternit: Justice” in a picture posted on Italian author Roberto Saviano‘s Twitter account
Text by Benjamin DODMAN
Latest update : 2014-11-20

Victims of asbestos poisoning are well accustomed to the gruelling twists and turns of Italy’s judicial process. But even the most battle-hardened were ill-prepared for the latest, bitter turn in a landmark case that has dragged on for decades.

Late on Wednesday, Italy’s top court overturned an 18-year prison sentence for Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, the former owner of construction giant Eternit.

Schmidheiny, 67, was found guilty in 2012 of causing 3,000 deaths linked to the use of asbestos in his factories – in the biggest ever trial on asbestos-related deaths.

He was jailed in absentia and ordered to pay tens of millions of euros in compensation to local authorities and families of the victims, who included factory workers and residents who lived near Eternit factories in northern, central and southern Italy.

via Europe – Fury as Italy quashes asbestos conviction in ‘trial of century’ – France 24.

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