The Department of Labour has laid charges against three parties in relation to alleged health and safety failures at the Pike River coal mine, where 29 miners died after an explosion almost a year ago.
25 charges were laid at the Greymouth District Court this morning, but the charges have not been specified because they could lead to the identification of the parties involved.
“They either have existing name suppression orders in their favour, or have the right to apply for name suppression,” the Department said in a press release issued this afternoon.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of $250,000.
This is no surprise to those who have been following the Royal Commission. The prosecutions will not bring the men back of course, but may provide some accountability for the tragic loss of life. Of course the charges must be proven in court, and assuming guilty pleas are not entered, we’ll have a trial at some stage.