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Man accused of AC poisoning testifies at trial, insists he’s innocent

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The owner of an air conditioning company who is accused of vindictively pouring toxic mercury into a cooling unit he’d installed in Queens — sickening a family that had complained of his shoddy service — insisted at his assault trial Thursday that he was innocent and had no vendetta against the victims.

“He was a good customer,” Yuriy Kruk said of the Jamaica Estates dad he allegedly poisoned, along with the mom, their young son, and the family dog, which died.

Inhaled mercury fumes cause a host of organ and nervous system injuries.

“He always pays me, no problem,” Kruk said of the dad, Roman Pinkhasov, while testifying on his own behalf at his attempted assault bench trial in Queens Supreme Court.

Kruk spent much of his day on the stand downplaying or denying the mostly circumstantial evidence against him.

Prosecutors have said that as he worked on the air conditioner, Kruk kept asking Pinkhasov’s wife, Olga, to leave the room to fetch him cleaning products from elsewhere in the house, thereby giving him the chance to contaminate the A/C without being seen.

But the family’s air conditioners needed cleaning, Kruk countered Thursday. “Filthy,” he griped of the downstairs unit.

Prosecutors have also said that Kruk incriminated himself by telling Olga to wait until after he’d left before trying out the new air conditioner upstairs — the one he allegedly poisoned.

“Did you tell Olga not to turn on the A/C until you left?” defense lawyer Marvyn Kornberg asked his client.

“No,” Kruk insisted.

“What did you tell Olga?” the lawyer asked.

“What I told Olga is don’t put the A/C on until I’m done cleaning the filters,” Kruk said.

“It’s a standard procedure. You can’t clean the filter when the A/C is running.”

Closing arguments are set for Friday.

This story was originally published by NY Post

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