AVELLINO, Italy (Reuters) – An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Wednesday to sentence Autostrade per l’Italia CEO Giovanni Castellucci and 11 other current and former managers at the toll-road company to 10 years in jail for alleged multiple manslaughter.
The case revolves around an accident that happened in 2013 on an Italian motorway run by Autostrade that claimed 40 lives.
Autostrade, and the managers involved, are accused of poor upkeep of motorway barriers. They have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.
Giorgio Perroni, Autostrade’s lawyer, said he was confident that the next few hearings during the trial in the town of Avellino, in southern Italy, would clear up the accusations.
“The prosecutor’s requests appear to be nothing short of bewildering, because they are not based on any objective scientific data and contrast with what emerged during the trial,” he said in a statement issued by the company.
Autostrade per l’Italia said in a statement late on Wednesday the allegations levelled against the CEO referred exclusively to an “alleged administrative irregularity” that had already been denied.
The defence team has yet to put its arguments to the court. The date of the next hearing is Oct. 19.
Castellucci is also chief executive of Benetton-controlled Atlantia <ATL.MI>, which owns 88 percent of Autostrade.
He is also under investigation — together with other company executives, Autostrade and officials at Italy’s transport ministry — for multiple manslaughter after a bridge collapsed in Genoa in August, killing 43 people.
Autostrade has denied any wrongdoing in the Genoa disaster.
(Reporting by Amalia De Simone; writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Alison Williams)