Ex-boss of Chinese firm involved in milk scandal appeals for overturning life sentence

February 2nd, 2009 - 12:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, Feb.2 (ANI): The former chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, Tian Wenhua, has lodged an appeal to overturn a life sentence for her role in the melamine milk contamination scandal, her lawyer said.
Liang Zikan said Tian had appealed to the Higher People’’s Court of Hebei Province because the judgment in the first trial did not clearly distinguish the facts and lacked evidence, Xinhua reports.
Tian was convicted at the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People’’s Court of manufacturing and selling fake or substandard products.
The life sentence was imposed on January 22. Tian was also fined 24.7 million Yuan (3.6 million dollars).
The ruling in the first trial said Tian authorized the sale of products that contains 10 mg of melamine in every one kilogram of milk at a meeting on Aug 13, 2008, citing a so-called EU standard.
Liang said the standard was not raised by Tian, but rather by a board member designated by New Zealand dairy product giant Fonterra, which had a 43-percent stake in Sanlu Group.
Tian and her lawyers also argued the court lacked evidence to say that Tian agreed to receive the problematic crude milk.
Tian said the management of Sanlu Group decided to recall and cease selling the baby milk powder containing melamine on August 1 when the Hebei Provincial Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau confirmed that samples sent by the company were contaminated.
Even if the milk powder department under the group failed to inform the downstream dealers, Tian should not bear the responsibility, Liang said. (ANI)

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