(WASHINGTON POST) -- PARIS -- Three former executives of a French telecommunications giant have been found guilty of creating a corporate culture so toxic that 35 of their employees were driven to suicide in the mid-2000s. The charge in the historic case: "harcelement moral institutionnel" or "institutional moral harassment".
The ruling from a Paris criminal court caps a months-long trial and years-long saga that has spurred protests and highlighted issues of labour relations and workplace conditions in a country with a sometimes contentious relationship to capitalism.
The company, France Telecom − which used to be state-owned and is now known as Orange, one of France's largest corporations − was fined $120,000, the maximum penalty. Its ex-chief executive, Didier Lombard, was sentenced to four months in prison and fined $23,000, along with his former second-in-command and head of human resources.
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