Charges dropped against former Pike boss

Last updated 11:04 12/12/2013

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Charges against former Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall have been dropped.

In the Christchurch District Court today, Labour Department lawyer Mark Zarifeh said the ministry had determined it was "not appropriate" to continue with the prosecution against Mr Whittall over the November 2010 blast in the West Coast coal mine that claimed the lives of 29 men.

Family of some of the men were in the court and became upset as Mr Zarifeh outlined the reasons for the decision.

Mr Whittall faced 12 charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Four of those alleged Pike River Coal failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees at work and that Mr Whittall participated in that failure.

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