UPDATE 1-Italy judge hands Riva brothers prison terms over Ilva pollution
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Court hands down jail terms after 5-year Ilva trial
Judge says defendants allowed environmental disaster
Taranto mayor says pollution caused a 'massacre'
(Adds comment from Riva lawyers)
By Crispian Balmer
ROME, May 31 (Reuters) - An Italian court on Monday sentenced the former owners of the Ilva steelworks, Fabio and Nicola Riva, to 22 and 20 years in jail respectively for allowing it to spew out deadly pollution.
Once the largest steel producer in Europe, the factory emitted a lethal cocktail of carcinogenic dioxins and mineral particles for more than half a century, that medics say caused a surge in cancer in the adjacent city of Taranto.
Wrapping up a trial that lasted five years, a Taranto court also handed prison terms to 24 ex-managers at Ilva, consultants and local politicians, including the former head of the Puglia region, Nichi Vendola, who received a 3-1/2 year sentence.
All the defendants have the automatic right to two appeals before a sentence becomes definitive.