Tokyo’s High Court has upheld a not guilty verdict for three former executives from the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant,

again clearing them of professional negligence over the 2011 nuclear disaster. Prosecutors have argued that the executives were aware of the dangers of a nuclear plant located on Japan’s coast.

The decision was announced on Wednesday by activists supporting the prosecution of the three former Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) executives after the appeal hearing at the Tokyo High Court

In the only criminal proceedings to arise out of the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chornobyl in 1986,

former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 82, and one-time executives Sakae Muto, 72, and Ichiro Takekuro, 76, were all found not guilty of negligence by the Tokyo District Court in 2019.

The high court declined to comment on its verdict while the session was still ongoing on Wednesday. Activists supporting the prosecution of the men gathered outside the court to express their anger.

Japan’s Kyodo News agency said the ruling cleared the defendants of professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries.

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