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Baby trafficker appeals death sentence

By Zhang Xiaobo (Global Times)

09:09, May 31, 2013

The Yunnan Provincial Higher People's Court will soon give a verdict on the human trafficking case that saw a female farmer sentenced to death for selling as many as 223 infants to Henan Province.

Jiang Kaizhi, 52, a local farmer who was given a capital sentence during the first trial at the province's Qujing Intermediate People's Court in June last year, appealed in a bid to bargain for a lighter penalty, an official from the Qujing intermediate court who declined to be identified told the Global Times on Thursday.

"It was definitely the most severe penalty available," the official explained.

Sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment were also handed down to 35 accomplices, who also appealed to the provincial higher people's court, the local news portal reported on Wednesday.

During the first trial, it was revealed that Jiang, from late 2009 to August 2010, organized a human trafficking gang to abduct or buy infants from rural Yunnanese locations including Xuanwei, Huize and Kaiyuan.

The Qujing court said 223 of those babies had been sold to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, which is over 1,800 kilometers away, adding that Jiang's profit for selling a baby boy was around 30,000 yuan ($4,893), while the profit from a baby girl was less at over 20,000 yuan.

The gang members who helped her transport the babies could receive as much as 3,500 to 4,500 yuan each time, the local court stated in its verdict.

Twenty-one people were hired to transport the infants, whose birth certificates were also forged, local media reported.

The trafficking ring, whose members are mostly illiterate women from remote areas of Yunnan, was busted in January 2011, following Jiang's downfall.

"Baby trafficking is classified as a felony in China, and some babies in this case were abducted. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with the death penalty," Niu Xingli, a lawyer at the Beijing-based Yixing law firm, told the Global Times.

"According to Chinese criminal law, there is little chance for Jiang to bargain for a lighter sentence," she added.

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