The trial of Zhang Shuxia, an obstetrician from Shaanxi province charged with trafficking newborn babies, began on Monday with the defendant saying that the father of one of the infants allegedly abducted by Zhang tried to sell the baby through her.
Zhang, 55, appeared in Weinan Intermediate People's Court on Monday charged with child trafficking. Prosecutors said Zhang abducted and sold seven new born babies from Fuping Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital on six occasions between 2011 and this year, causing the death of one of the infants.
In three of the incidences, the victims were her patients. After attending to the infants, Zhang claimed they had a congenital disease and convinced the parents to let her “dispose of” the infants, it was alleged. In another case, Zhang helped rescue the infant before talking the parents into giving the child up, using a similar argument.
Zhang then allegedly sold these five infants, including a pair of twin girls, to a female trafficker surnamed Pan for amounts ranging from 20,000 yuan to 30,000 yuan (HK$25,353 to HK$38,030).
Prosecutors said on April last year, Zhang was informed of two parents in her hospital intent on giving away their newly-born baby girl for reasons unstated in the indictment, that had been sold to Pan for 20,000 yuan. The father was given 15,000 yuan before “the family changed their mind” and demanded their baby back.
It was not revealed why the parents wanted to give away their child or whether the father would be prosecuted for trying to sell his daughter, as this section of the trial was closed to the public on privacy grounds.
A cleaner working in the hospital reportedly picked up a sick baby girl “discarded” by her parents in April this year and went to Zhang, who then sold her for 1,000 yuan to Pan, the court heard. The baby died before Pan could sell her.
The court broadcast the trial live on Sina Weibo.