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Hospital officials in baby trafficking case to receive verdict

2014-01-23 15:48 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

A Chinese court will announce its verdict on Friday for four former hospital officials accused of serious dereliction of duty in a baby trafficking case.

The Linwei District People's Court in Weinan City of northwest China's Shaanxi province told Xinhua on Thursday that the sentences would be delivered to the suspects in a public hearing scheduled on Friday morning.

The four accused include former president of Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital Wang Li, former deputy president Yao Junmin, former director of the department of obstetrics Gao Wenping and former administrator of the delivery rooms Si Xin, said the court.

Previously, the principal suspect, Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician at Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, was sentenced to death with two years' reprieve for selling babies to human traffickers.

Zhang was accused of selling seven babies, one of whom later died, to human traffickers after persuading their parents to give up their "sick" newborns.

The case stirred public outrage in China over baby trafficking and the professional ethics of medical workers after Zhang's crime was exposed in July, when a mother, surnamed Dong, suspected her newborn had been abducted. She reported the incident to police.

Zhang persuaded Dong and her husband to give up their boy after falsely claiming the child had a congenital disease. The baby was found in good condition in neighboring Henan Province on Aug. 5.

Two twin baby girls were also rescued from neighboring Shanxi Province and Shandong Province in east China on Aug. 10 after their mother, surnamed Wang, contacted police in Fuping.

In less than a month after the scandal was exposed, police received reports of 55 similar infant trafficking cases, including 26 in which Zhang was allegedly involved. Police investigations found evidence in six of the 26 cases.

Following the scandal, a deputy county governor, director and a deputy director of the county health bureau were dismissed from their posts.

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