(VM) China jails officials in baby trafficking case

Beijing, Jan 24: Four Chinese hospital officials involved in a baby trafficking case were sentenced Friday to varying terms for dereliction of duty.

The Linwei District People’s Court in Weinan city of Shaanxi province sentenced Si Xin, former administrator of the delivery rooms at the Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital to a year on prison after a public hearing, reported Xinhua.

Si told the court that poor management of the hospital, the fact that she failed to follow regulations and was easily convinced by her leader Zhang Shuxia, the main culprit, had allowed Zhang to carry out the trafficking.

Along with Si, three others were also sentenced.

Wang Li, former president of the hospital, was exempted from punishment. Gao Wenping, former director of the department of obstetrics received one-year imprisonment with two years’ reprieve. Yao Junmin, former deputy president of the hospital was given six months in prison with one-year reprieve.

All four suspects “pleaded guilty and are sorry for their crimes, so they were given lighter punishments according to the law,” the court said.

In the case against Wang, there was “insufficient evidence to prove, she had intentionally covered up the baby trafficking, though, she failed to discover the crimes,” Wang’s lawyer told the court.

On Jan 14, Zhang, an obstetrician at the hospital, was sentenced to death with two years’ reprieve for selling babies.

Zhang was found guilty of abducting and selling seven babies, one of whom later died, in Fuping, Shaanxi province.

She told parents their infants had serious diseases and convinced them to give up the babies.

The case led to public outrage over trafficking after Zhang’s crimes were exposed in July last year, when a mother, suspected her newborn had been abducted and reported the incident to police.

Zhang sold babies to child traffickers between November 2011 and July 2013, including a pair of twins, the court said.