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Italy court finds company owners guilty in asbestos case

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Italy court finds company owners guilty in asbestos case

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The Swiss former owner of a company that caused 3,000 Italians to die from asbestos-related diseases has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

In a ruling that could have an impact on similar cases around the world, billionaire Stephan Schimdheiny was found guilty.

The company’s major shareholder, Belgian aristocrat Jean-Louis Marie Ghislain de Cartier de Marchienne, has been given the same sentence.

Neither man attended the trial.

The proceedings, which have taken two years, were held in the industrial northern Italian city of Turin.

The company, Eternit, ran four plants in Italy, where many people worked with asbestos without protection up until the 1980s.

Despite the company being bankrupt, 6,000 Italians are seeking damages.