Methanol affair trial begins

The trial of 10 suspects of the Zlín ‘branch’ of a gang behind the so-called ‘methanol affair’ began at the regional court in Zlín on Monday. The state prosecutor had charged a total of 31 people in the case, but some suspects will be tried at different courts across the country. Those appearing in the courtroom on Monday are suspected of having been involved in the direct production or distribution of a deadly mix of bootleg liquor (containing lethal levels of methanol) which made it onto the market in 2012. The outbreak of methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic claimed more than 50 lives; if found guilty, the suspects could receive sentences between 12 and 20 years in jail or exemplary sentences of life behind bars.