ILVA steel plant seeks plea in environmental disaster trial

Some 50 defendants on trial for poisoning, corruption, and more

(ANSA) - Taranto, April 22 - Europe's largest steel plant, ILVA, has sought the industry ministry's permission to plea-bargain in a trial for environmental disaster in the southern port city of Taranto.
    A court in January declared ILVA insolvent, with debt totaling nearly 3 billion euros. This came one week after the industry ministry named former power and environmental executives Piero Gnudi, Enrico Laghi and Corrado Carrubba as extraordinary commissioners.
    The Taranto trial sees 52 defendants - three companies and 49 people, including elected officials, former executives, and the ex-secretary to an archbishop - on charges of corruption, making false statements, abuse of office, forgery, malicious disaster, and releasing toxic waste into the water table.
    ILVA has employed some 20,000 people and been blamed for decades of environmental degradation and high levels of cancer in the area.


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