Four people accused of deliberately poisoning food at a snack bar early this year went on trial in a Shenzhen court on Monday. The poisoning killed two people and saw 63 others fall ill. The defendants were a businessman, a manager of the Hong Kong-listed BYD Company and two migrants, Xinhua reported. The 31/2-hour trial at Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court was told businessman Zhu Yuanlin, 33, was suspected to have masterminded the poisoning to put pressure on the local government to help him after a booming marketplace left his store in the same neighbourhood with few customers. On February 20, he reached a deal with BYD human resources manager Zhang Zhenhua , who would receive a 500,000 yuan (HK$568,000) discount in rental fees to run a skating rink, bar and billiards parlour at Zhu's store, the court heard. In exchange, Zhang was to dispose of the competition by any means within four weeks. Zhang sent his friend, migrant worker Ke Bizhi , to buy sodium nitrite, and Wang Yingde , also a migrant worker, sneaked into a snack bar's kitchen early on February 23 to leave the powder in the kitchen, the court heard. All 65 people having breakfast at the snack bar that day were poisoned. Most of them were employees of nearby BYD. A 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman died. Police detected sodium nitrite in drain water and cloths used to cover food. It was also found on the ranges and had been put into salt shakers. Zhang told the court he did not know the chemical was lethal. Zhu said he had never instructed Zhang to poison diners at the snack bar, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported. The court did not say when it would deliver verdicts.