Hungarian winemaker charged over deadly anti-freeze wine

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BUDAPEST - A Hungarian winemaker who admitted putting anti-freeze in his wine to poison thieves was charged with manslaughter on Thursday after one man died and five were hospitalised, police said.

The 37-year-old from a town 50 kilometres east of Budapest told police that people regularly stole from his cellar so he contaminated the barrels to "teach them a lesson".

He denied intending to kill anyone, however, saying he only wanted to make the thieves ill.

Police said in a statement that a 30-year-old man, according to media reports a known thief, took several jugs of wine from the barrels on October 24, later sharing them with acquaintances.

He was taken to hospital a few days later with suspected poisoning and died on November 1. Experts are examining the precise cause of death, police said.

Five others are in hospital in a "serious" condition, police said.