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Death Sentence in Milk Trial

01-22 17:32 Caijing Magazine

Sentences were handed down January 22 in the trial of those accused of criminal involvement in China's milk scandal. Former Sanlu chairwoman received life in jail.


By Caijing staff reporter Zhu Tao

From Caijing Online

 

The death penalty has been given to three  men standing trial for the involvement in the contaminated milk scandal that broke last September. Tian Wenhua, former chairwoman and general manager of Sanlu Group, the dairy maker at the center of the scandal, received life imprisonment for “producing and selling fake or substandard products.”

 

On the afternoon of January 22, the Intermediate People's Court in Shijiazhuang announced a death penalty sentence for Zhang Yujun, who sold 600 tons of a mixture containing the industrial chemical melamine to dairy farmers and dealers as a means of boosting protein readings. Zhang's workshop was allegedly China's largest source of melamine and earned him 6.8 million yuan.

 

Also sentenced to death was milk producer Geng Jinping, who had been convicted of producing and selling toxic food to dairy companies.

 

Gao Junjie, another melamine producer, received a  suspended  death sentence with two years reprieve.

 

Besides Tian, another two former deputy general managers of Sanlu, Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi, received 15 years and 8 years in prison, respectively.

 

Wu Jusheng, former manager of the firm's raw milk department, was sentenced for five years in jail.

 

The court also sentenced Zhang Yanzhang to life imprisonment for endangering public safety. He was accused of working with Zhang Yujun to buy and resell melamine-tainted powder.

 

The northern Chinese court handed down a total of 21 sentences in the melamine trial.

 

In September 2008, reports started appearing that many of the products from China’s largest dairies were tainted with melamine, a chemical that can cause kidney failure. By the time the recall had finished, the tainted products had sickened 300,000 children in China and killed at least six, according to government data.

 

The families of victims, many of whom were young children and infants, are now seeking for compensation through legal procedures, as well as the establishment of safeguards to prevent something like this from happening again.

 

On January 16, 213 families filed a lawsuit in China’s highest court against the 22 dairy producers that sold contaminated products. They requested a total of 36 million yuan compensation. 

 

But the victims’ earlier lawsuits ran aground and was stuck legal limbo. On December 8, 63 victims jointly sued Sanlu in Hebei’s Higher People's Court, asking for about 75 million yuan in compensation. However, the case was rejected by the court, which claimed the scandal was still under investigation.

 

An attorney representing the families said "we have no choice and have to submit the lawsuit directly to the to the Supreme People's Court." This was done, but the court has yet to give an official response.

 

Under the earlier compensation plan announced by the government, victims are being offered fixed payments of 200,000, 30,000 yuan or 2,000 yuan, depending on the severity of the poisoning. Families and their lawyers have repeatedly criticized the sum as woefully inadequate, as some of the victims look like they will be hindered for life.

 

Caijing learned that another 500 families sent a letter of appeal to the Ministry of Health, urging it to reject the compensation scheme.

 

Who is on trial?

 Updated to 01-22

Name

 

Identity

Verdict

Fact

Charge

Zhang Yujun

 

Dairy farmer

Death penalty

Produced 775.6 tons of melamine mixture and sold 600 tons.

endangering public security

Zhang Yanzhang

Dairy farmer

Life imprisonment

Sold more than 230 tons of melamine mixture

endangering public security

Zhang Heshe

Zhang Taizhen

Milk dealer

 

Added 35 kg melamine mixture to 70 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

Yang Jingmin

Milk dealer

 

Added 24 kg melamine mixture to 120 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

Gu Guoping

Operator of milk station

 

Added 16.7 kg melamine mixture to 120 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

 

Xue Jianzhong

 

Producer of melamine-laced protein powder

Life imprisonment

Produced more than 200 tons of melamine mixture and sold 110 tons

endangering public security

Zhang Yanjun

 

Producer of melamine-laced protein powder

15 years in jail

Produced more than 200 tons of melamine mixture and sold 110 tons

endangering public security

 

Xiao Yu

Producer of melamine-laced protein powder

 

5 years in jail

Produced more than 200 tons of melamine mixture and sold 110 tons

endangering public security

 

Zhang Junjie

Producer of melamine-laced protein powder

 

Produced more than 200 tons of melamine mixture and sold 110 tons

endangering public security

 

Dong Shaoying

Dong Yingxia

Farm director

 

Added 35 kg of melamine mixture to 40 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

Yu Wendui

Operator of milk station

 

Added 9 kg melamine mixture to 8 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

Zhao Shengmao

Bian Gengshun

Milk dealer

 

Added 6 kg of melamine mixture to 36 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

Geng Jinping

 

Operator of the dairy plant in Zhengding county

Death penalty

Added 434 kg melamine mixture to 900 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

Geng Jinzhu

Operator of the dairy plant in Zhengding county

8 years in jail

Added 434 kg melamine mixture to 900 tons of fresh milk

Producing and selling poisonous food

Tian Wenhua

 

 

Senior manager of Sanlu Group

 

Life imprisonment

Sanlu has produced and sold 813.737 tons of melamine tainted milk powder and 269 tons of tainted liquid milk

Producing and selling shoddy goods.

Wang Yuliang

 

Senior manager of Sanlu Group

 

15 years in jail

 

Sanlu has produced and sold 813.737 tons of melamine tainted milk powder and 269 tons of tainted liquid milk

Producing and selling shoddy goods.

Hang Zhiqi

 

Senior manager of Sanlu Group

 

8 years in jail

 

Sanlu has produced and sold 813.737 tons of melamine tainted milk powder and 269 tons of tainted liquid milk

Producing and selling shoddy goods.

Wu Jusheng

Senior manager of Sanlu Group

 

5 years in jail

 

Sanlu has produced and sold 813.737 tons of melamine tainted milk powder and 269 tons of tainted liquid milk

Producing and selling shoddy goods.

Gao Junjie

milk producer

death penalty with two years reprieve

 

produced melamine mixture

 

endangering public security

 

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