Judicial panel says utility’s former execs deserve criminal charges in Fukushima nuke crisis

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TOKYO – A Japanese judicial panel has recommended that three former executives of the utility that operates the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant face criminal charges over their role in the disaster.

A document released by the panel showed it voted in favour of indicting Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. at the time of the crisis, along with two other executives.

The decision by the 11-member panel followed an appeal of a prosecutor’s decision last September to drop the case, citing lack of evidence.

Prosecutors must reinvestigate and decide whether to indict the executives within three months. A second indictment vote by the panel would force them to go to court.

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