Finland’s most notorious corporate environmental crimes case returned to court on Monday. The founder and owner of the Finnish nickel mine Talvivaara – as well as other leaders of the company – could face massive fines and suspended jail sentences in appeals court.
An environmental crime trial about mining company Talvivaara’s past operations began at the Rovaniemi appeals court on Monday.
Under scrutiny in the trial are the construction and use of Talvivaara’s gypsum waste pond, alleged scheduled and uncontrolled dumping of effluents into nature, as well as issues surrounding the handling and placement of the mine’s various waste components.
Prosecutors claim that Talvivaara bosses committed their first environmental crimes as early as 2004 when the mine was in its planning and building stages.
Prosecutors are demanding conditional prison sentences of one year for Talvivaara Mining Company ex-CEO Pekka Perä, 10 months for ex-CEO Harri Natunen and eight months for an unspecified ex-division chief for aggravated environmental degradation. The accused deny the charges.
Additionally prosecutors are calling for Talvivaara Sotkamo to hand over a total of 13.3 million euros acquired via the criminal activities, on top of an outstanding corporate fine of 850,000 euros.
Prosecutor Kimmo Vakkala says the crux of the case lies in the allegation that Talvivaara neither possessed nor communicated correct, accurate information about its mining plans when the company applied for an environmental permit.
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