Iran sentences four to death over bootleg alcohol that killed 17

Iran sentences four people to death for selling contaminated bootleg alcohol that killed 17 people and sent dozens more to hospital in June, the judiciary says.

The sale and consumption of alcohol has been banned in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, giving rise to a huge illicit trade in smuggled or bootleg alcohol, some of it adulterated with poisonous methanol.

In June, at least 17 people died and 191 were admitted to the hospital with symptoms of methanol poisoning after drinking adulterated alcohol.

Judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi says 11 defendants had been charged with the capital offense of corruption on earth over the distribution of toxic liquor in Alborz province, west of Tehran.

Of the 11, four were sentenced to death while the rest received prison sentences of one to five years, Setayeshi says, adding that the convicts can appeal to the Supreme Court.

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