Czech police have charged Rudolf Fian, a 42-year-old Slovak of causing the deaths of 26 people who were poisoned with methanol-tainted alcohol. Neither Fian nor his alleged accomplice, Tomáš Křepela, has a previous criminal record before, the Sme daily reported.
Fian is reportedly cooperating with police and is in a poor mental condition. Křepela, on the other hand, is reportedly refusing to say anything to investigators. Both face 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Sme reported that financial problems led both men to adulterate alcohol with methyl alcohol, a substance used in anti-freeze for cars, despite knowing that it is poisonous.
Since the first cases in late August at least 26 people have died and dozens of others hospitalised. The Czech Republic later announced the prohibition of all spirits with 20 percent or more alcohol content and halted exports.
Slovakia also recorded four cases of methanol poisoning, but all the patients have since been released from hospital. It also banned imports of spirits from the Czech Republic.
For more information about the story please see: Czech spirits banned after poison detected
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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