Eternit Owners Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

February 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM

On 13 February, 2012 the Italian court in Turin put a final dot in the case of Eternit Group. The owners and managers of the group, Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, 65, and Belgian Baron Louis de Cartier de Marchienne, 91, have been found guilty of ecological disaster entailing deaths of thousands of workers and members of the community of Casale Monferrato in the province of Piemonte, Italy where a large enterprise of the group was located. Multi-million Euro fines have been imposed on the defendants.

The court accepted the prosecutor’s charges against the asbestos magnates for wilful and deliberate environmental disaster by polluting and scattering the asbestos killer fibres and deliberate and wilful failure to implement precautions in the work place. More details are in an earlier IMF report.

The prosecutors, Raffaele Guariniello, Gianfranco Colace and Sara Panelli, during 62 hearings since 2009 showed how the defendants, despite their clear understanding of asbestos deadly consequences for people and nature, chose to maintain operation of Eternit factories for the sake of profits. 

Relatives of almost three thousand deceased and ill victims exposed to asbestos from 1952 until 1986 at Eternit Group enterprises, welcomed the guilty verdict with tears and applause.