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Stiff Sentences Urged in Poisonings That Killed 584 in Spain

United Press International

A state prosecutor Wednesday demanded jail sentences of more than 100,000 years each for eight men on trial for selling contaminated cooking oil that killed 584 people and poisoned more than 24,000.

Prosecutor Eduardo Gunguairino’s call came as the state restated its case against 41 defendants accused in the 1981 mass poisonings.

The prosecutor sought 15-year terms for 21 other defendants but urged the acquittal of 12 more. He demanded as much as $600,000 in damages for each of the most seriously affected survivors, many of whom suffered paralysis and crippling illnesses as a result of the poisoning.

The defendants allegedly sent peddlers door-to-door selling inexpensive cooking oil that contained rapeseed oil treated for industrial use. The World Health Organization failed to find an antidote to the poison.

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