Friday , July 12 2024

Two sentenced to death for poisoning children in China

Two kung fu coaches were handed death sentences in China on Monday, following their arrest last year for a 1997 poisoning that killed seven children, a court said.

The men planted rat poison in food at a martial arts school in China’s eastern Anhui Province due to a business conflict with its boss, and then evaded prosecution for nearly 26 years.

Defendants Fu Zejie and Zhu Zulin were each “sentenced to death for the crime of poisoning” by the Intermediate People’s Court in the city of Ma’anshan, according to an online statement.

The court said that in “around 1994”, Zhu and another man surnamed Peng entered into a dispute while running competing martial arts schools in the area.

Fu took up a job coaching at Peng’s facility in 1996, then “gradually became dissatisfied with Peng… due to trivial matters”, the court said.

The two defendants then conspired to retaliate for their grudges by pouring two packets of rat poison into the food at Peng’s school on June 29, 1997.

The next morning, more than 130 people at the school experienced vomiting and convulsions after eating their breakfast, state-run outlet China Daily reported.

Seven students were killed by the poison.

The two culprits were identified by authorities as suspects, but were not arrested until May 2023 — Fu in Fujian Province on the eastern coast and Zhu in southwestern Guizhou Province.

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