BUDAPEST, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- A court in Hungary's Gyor ordered a new trial of 15 employees of the MAL alumina plant who were found innocent last year in the trial for the 2010 red mud spill, a serious industrial disaster in the country's history.
The verdict of the first level trial has been annulled because of procedural deficiencies, Laszlo Szeplaki, president of the Gyor higher court told reporters, according to Hungarian News Agency MTI.
"The renewed procedure will be faster, as the court will be able to use former investigation materials, and would not have to listen to witnesses again," Szeplaki added.
In January 2016, Zoltan Bakonyi, former director of the company, along with 14 employees, were acquitted by the first level court of Veszprem.
But the prosecutors argued that the original verdict was stained by procedural irregularities, and the red mud spill could have been avoided if the management of the firm had intervened without delay.
Following a long trial of more than three years, 15 employees were cleared of negligence and causing damage to the environment. The verdict had fueled lots of criticism both from the victims, and even from the Hungarian government.
The lower municipal court of Veszprem had found that the main reason of the event was a loss of stability in the deeper layers of the soil, and the management of the firm could not have prevented the accident from happening.
The court found that original designs were mainly at fault, along with the negligence of the authorities that carried out controls and supervision for years.
The red mud spill happened in Ajka, western Hungary on Oct. 4, 2010, when the wall of a reservoir holding the red mud burst, and released some 1.1 million cubic meters of poisonous sludge into the rural area.
The accident took the lives of ten people, while 150 others were injured, mostly due to chemical burns. Throughout several smaller rivers, the sludge finally reached the Danube as well. Enditem