October 24, 2014
Prosecutors extend probe into ex-TEPCO chiefs
Oct. 24, 2014 - Updated 12:21 UTC+2
Prosecutors have extended their investigation into 3 former chiefs of Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, over the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The Tokyo District Prosecutors' Office announced this on Friday to an inquest panel of randomly chosen citizens.
The office launched the probe after the panel decided in July that the 3 people, including former chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, should face charges.
The prosecutors were due to decide this month whether to file charges.
But they say they're unlikely to do so because interviewing former top TEPCO officials and experts takes time.
In September last year, the prosecutors dismissed a criminal complaint filed by a citizens' group against roughly 30 former TEPCO executives, including the 3.
The investigators argued that it was difficult to predict the scale of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the plant in March 2011.
The group narrowed down its target and filed another complaint with the panel. It concluded the 3 should be indicted.
The prosecutors are to decide by early February whether to do so.