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Roommate’s poisoning was meant as joke, medical student says at trial

A MEDICAL student at Fudan University who was accused of poisoning his roommate to death said at trial today it was just an April Fool’s joke.

Lin Senhao, 27, denied having held a grudge against his roommate, Huang Yang, though he thought Huang was self-righteous, the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court heard in the ongoing trial.

Lin insisted that he didn’t mean to kill Huang. Instead, the postgraduate student said he had planned to just make Huang feel sick since he believed Huang would take only a little of the toxin, which shouldn’t have killed him, Lin said.

Lin said he had experimented on rats and many didn’t die of poisoning.

After Huang was taken to the hospital, the medical checkup showed everything was fine at first and Lin thought Huang would recover soon, the court heard.

Prosecutors claimed Lin dropped a deadly toxic chemical in a water dispenser they shared in their room. Huang felt sick after drinking the water from the dispenser on April 1 and was taken to Zhongshan Hospital.

Huang had severe abdominal pains and fell into a coma. He was diagnosed with liver failure and died of poisoning on April 16.

An initial police investigation found the dispenser in his dormitory room contained N-Nitrosodimethylamine, an organic chemical highly toxic to the liver.

The chemical is often used to induce liver disease in rats in cancer experiments in laboratories.


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