South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday sought heavy prison terms for those responsible for toxic humidifier sterilizer products that claimed many lives in the country.
In the final hearing at the Seoul Central District Court, prosecutors have asked the court for a 20-year prison term for Shin Hyun-woo, a former CEO of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser, the Korean unit of a British household goods maker.
"The accused is the root cause of the massive tragedy," the prosecutors said. "We have no choice but to punish the accused who put consumers' safety at risk in order to gain corporate profits."
Shin was charged with failing to sufficiently supervise hazardous products made in 2000, which ultimately led to 73 deaths and numerous others being hospitalized.
Also he was accused of putting out false advertisements about products that caused consumers believe that they were harmless and safe for children. Many of the victims were young children.
Claiming that the advertising was tantamount to deception, the prosecutors also charged him with fraud.
Separately, they also demanded a 10-year prison term for another person implicated in the scandal. The person, only identified by his surname Oh, is former CEO of Butterfly Effect which produced another toxic purifier sterilizer Cefu. A total of 27 people either died or were injured due to this product.
The final verdict will be handed down in early January. (Yonhap)