the Eternit trial report, Torino (Italy)
Today the criminal Court of first instance in Turin found Stephan Schmidheiny among other guilty of intentional omission of proper health and safety measures and intentionally causing a disaster at the former Italian Eternit Group. The verdict was 16 years in prison. Furthermore, the judge approved provisionally compensation claims into the millions. This verdict is totally incomprehensible for Stephan Schmidheiny’s lawyers, which is why they plan to appeal to the next higher authority. The Italian Eternit Group, which was founded in 1906, was under Italian ownership for almost 60 years, after which it was controlled by the Belgian Eternit Group. It wasn’t until 1973 that the Swiss Eternit Group, SEG, became the biggest single shareholder of the public Italian company Eternit because of a capital increase. Stephan Schmidheiny took over the leadership of the SEG in 1976. Furthermore, he never had any formal function within the Italian Eternit, he neither was owner nor member of the Board of Directors nor member of the management. During the time until 1986, the year in which the Italian Eternit Group went bankrupt, the Swiss Eternit Group financed substantial investments of at that time more than CHF 60 Mio., a.o. in workplace safety and in the modernisation of the production facilities. The technology for these safety measures was in accordance with the medical and scientific knowledge and the highest possible standards applied in the industry at the time. The Italian authorities did not ban asbestos prior to 1992.
Read the attached 3 pages pdf of the press release: SCHMIDHEINY_Press-Release_13FEB12.pdf
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