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21:00 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Third Czech Charged in Bootleg Alcohol Deaths

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A third person has been charged with intentionally endangering public safety in a case of bootleg alcohol poisoning that has killed 28 people, public prosecutor Roman Kafka told the CTK news agency on Friday.

A third person has been charged with intentionally endangering public safety in a case of bootleg alcohol poisoning that has killed 28 people, public prosecutor Roman Kafka told the CTK news agency on Friday.

 

The man, a 54-year-old liquor distributor from the Zlin region, distributed a lethal alcoholic mixture prepared in Opava, north Moravia.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, the prosecutor said.

"The accused took over 10 tons of the mixture from another man, who was charged earlier, and distributed it to further recipients," Kafka said.

During the past several weeks the police charged two other men with intentionally endangering the public’s safety - a 42-year-old owner of a catering business in Karvina, north Moravia, and a 37-year-old executive of Carlogic, a firm manufacturing car cosmetics.

The police have alleged the two are the key figures behind the fatal methanol case.

The police say the suspects did not want to kill anybody but wanted to earn money by producing illegal liquors. However, they knew well the consequences of methanol consumption, Kafka said.

They wanted to profit from buying cheaper components for liquor production. When mixing components together, however, they prepared a mixture with an excessive methanol concentration that eventually poisoned consumers, the prosecutor said.