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Russia Tries Seven For Bath Lotion Drinking Deaths


A man pours Hawthorn infusion into a glass.

The defendants were charged with production and selling the bath lotion that contained methanol -- which can be fatal if consumed -- instead of regular alcohol, or ethanol.

Poisonings with surrogate alcohol are frequent in Russia, where people sometimes drink substances that contain alcohol that are cheaper than alcoholic beverages.

In an around Irkutsk, a regional capital 4,200 kilometers east of Moscow, at least 63 people died in December 2016 after drinking a scented bath lotion called Boyaryshnik, Russian for Hawthorn.

The deaths led to restrictions on the sale of surrogate alcohol across Russia and tightening of control over production and sale of drinks, perfumes, and other liquids with more than 25 percent alcohol content as well as medicines containing ethanol.

Russian media reports said the five male defendants are natives of Azerbaijan, but did not specify their citizenship.

Three of them pleaded guilty and two refused to enter a plea.

The two women, locals who worked in stores, pleaded not guilty.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS
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