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Prison sentence for asbestos related negligence

Two former businessmen have been sentenced by an Italian court to 16 years in jail for negligence that contributed to the asbestos related deaths of over 2,000 people, reports the Scotsman.

Stephan Schmidheiny, from Switzerland, was the former owner of Swiss construction firm Eternit, and Jean Louis Marie Ghislain De Cartier De Marchienne, from Belgium, was a former executive and shareholder. They were charged with deliberately failing to implement measures to prevent damage from asbestos exposure at the firm's fibre cement making plants in Italy.

The trial began in December 2009, and since then has heard evidence linking 2,100 deaths to exposure to asbestos fibres at the plants.

The court also awarded financial compensation to over 6,300 victims or family members of people who died or became ill as a result of asbestos exposure while working at the factories.

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