China Starts Trial of Hospital Officials Over Alleged Baby Trafficking
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | January 7, 2014 3:30 PM EST
China has started to hear the case of four health officials formerly connected with a hospital in northwest China's Shaanxi Province for alleged dereliction of duty after a hospital obstetrician was able to traffic seven babies.
A newly-born baby girl, Jolanda, smiles into the camera after her mother, Susan, gave birth to her on a table in the corner of the cityhall in Palo, Leyte, some 15 km (9 miles) away from Tacloban, November 15, 2013. Life returns to normal again a week after Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest ever recorded, hit Leyte in the central Philippines. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
The four accused include:
- Wang Li, former president of Fuping County Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital;
- Yao Junmin, former deputy president;
- Gao Wenping, former director of the department of obstetrics; and,
- Si Xin, former administrator of the delivery rooms.
The four were charged with serious dereliction of duty after obstetrician Zhang Shuxia was able to sell at least seven babies to human traffickers, according to Zhang Yan, a procurator with the Linwei District People's Procuratorate.
The illegal trade hogged the Chinese spotlight in July 2013 after media got wind of local news of a set of parents getting reunited with their newborn son after getting sold no less than by the attending maternity doctor or obstetrician who facilitated his birth.
The parents were made to believe that their son, born in the morning of July 17, had severe health problems and would die anytime soon.
Their son, sold for 21,600 yuan, was missing a few days after. The mother then reported the incident to the local police.
As the investigation ensued, reports of 55 similar infant trafficking cases were filed before the police, half of which involved Zhang.
The baby with the heart disease was found 20 days later in a town in Anyang City of neighboring Henan Province.
Detained in August, Zhang pleaded guilty to selling the babies to human traffickers on December 30.
She is awaiting sentencing.
The court will announce the verdict on the four other alleged accused at a later date.
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