Prosecutors Start Criminal Probe Into Fukushima Nuclear Accident via Bloomberg

Fukushima prosecutors began a criminal investigation into last year’s nuclear-plant accident after more than 1,300 residents filed a complaint against executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. including former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata.

The Fukushima City prosecutor yesterday accepted the complaint and will start a probe to determine whether there was professional negligence in Japan’s worst civil nuclear-plant accident, an official at the office said, who declined to be named in line with policy.

“Our complaint includes professional negligence resulting in bodily injury by radiation exposure and the death of hospital inpatients during transfer from Futaba Hospital” near the Fukushima plant, said Ikuo Yasuda, who runs his own law office and represents the residents. Yasuda confirmed the complaint was accepted yesterday by the Fukushima District Public Prosecutors Office.

Tokyo Electric said it hadn’t been informed by prosecutors that a complaint against former executives was accepted. “We can’t comment on this because we don’t know the complaint’s content,” Jun Oshima, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the utility, said by phone.

The residential group named Fukushima Nuclear-Plant Plaintiffs filed the complaint on June 11, naming at least 33 individuals, including former Tepco president Shimizu, the head of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission Shunsuke Kondo and Haruki Madarame, the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission, Machiko Furukawa, an official at the group, said by telephone today.

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