An Italian court has convicted the head of ThyssenKrupp's Italian steel unit, along with other managers, over the deaths of seven workers in a fire at its Turin plant. The German company also received a hefty fine.
Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp was also fined over the fire
The chief executive of German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp's Italian unit was sentenced to 16.5 years in jail on Friday over charges related to a factory fire that killed seven employees in December 2007.
Harald Espenhahn was convicted by a court in the northern city of Turin of "voluntary homicide," a first in Italy for a workplace accident.
Seven workers died after suffering severe burns when a fire broke out at the steel plant's thermal treatment department. The fire was one of the worst in Italy and sparked a public debate over health and safety regulations.
ThyssenKrupp called the verdict 'inexplicable'
The Italian court also handed out lengthy jail terms to five other managers and fined the company 1 million euros ($1.45 million). In addition, the steel company will not be allowed to benefit from Italian state subsidies for six months. During the same period, ThyssenKrupp will also be banned from advertising its products in Italy.
The steelmaker called the verdict against Espenhahn "incomprehensible and inexplicable," adding that its attorneys would look into what can be done about it.
"We are totally unsatisfied and we will appeal," defense lawyer Cesare Zaccone said after the verdict. "But I don't believe we will obtain a lot more."
The verdict was welcomed by prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello who said it would "mean a lot for health and safety at the workplace."
Author: Joanna Impey (AP, AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Toma Tasovac
In northern Bosnia, a gunman stormed a police station, killing one officer before dying in the crossfire. Authorities have now launched an investigation into what they are calling a "terrorist" attack.
A memorial service has been held in Barcelona for the victims of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the Alps last month, killing all 150 on board. Many of the passengers who died were Spanish nationals.
The most recent BND spy scandal is symptomatic of the disrespectful way the government deals with parliament. It's tine to revamp the way the intelligence services are monitored, writes DW's Marcel Fürstenau.
From Best Male and Female Singers to Best Ensemble and Readers' Prize, some of Germany's top singers are among the winners at the International Opera Awards in London.