- Former chairman, VPs indicted by Tokyo court for their role in 2011 meltdown
- Fukushima residents had previously tried twice to hold the executives to account.
Former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, along with two former executive vice presidents, Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto, were indicted for professional negligence to the Tokyo district court.
The accident, which occurred when a tsunami hit the coastal plant in March 2011, caused a meltdown and widespread radiation leaks in the northeastern Japanese province.
Acting prosecutors -- lawyers chosen by the prosecution commission -- allege that the three had not fulfilled their responsibility to prevent the accident, which resulted in the exposure of Fukushima residents to radiation, the injury of 13 workers at the plant, and the death of 44 patients, evacuated from the immediate vicinity of the plant to hospitals in surrounding areas.
It is claimed by the prosecutors that the patients' deaths, who were elderly or gravely ill, were linked to their move in the immediate aftermath of the meltdown as they were evacuated, but that connection has not been formally confirmed.