The story appears on

Page A3

January 9, 2015

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Death sentence upheld in Fudan poisoning case

SHANGHAI’S top court has upheld the death sentence imposed on a former Fudan University medical postgraduate student who poisoned his roommate in what he claimed was an April Fool’s joke.

The Shanghai Higher People’s Court also discounted defense lawyers’ assertions that Huang Yang, 27, had died from hepatitis B.

Lin Senhao, 28, appeared in the court in handcuffs, and heard the court’s ruling in silence, his head lowered.

Huang’s parents, who were in court, were both in tears when the verdict was announced.

Lin later released a statement through a Beijing-based Chinese language newspaper saying he was not satisfied with the verdict and that he had not intended to kill anyone. In the statement, he apologized to Huang’s parents and said he hoped he could donate his body for medical research if the death penalty is finally approved.

The sentence is subject to review by China’s Supreme People’s Court.

“It’s undoubted that I will make an appeal to the supreme court and will never let my son die with no crucial evidence to prove he is guilty,” Lin Zunyao, Lin Senhao’s father, said outside the court after the verdict was announced. “Although he was at fault to a degree, he does not deserve the death penalty.”

Huang’s father Huang Guoqiang said: “I’m satisfied with the verdict and appreciate the court’s impartial judgment.”

Ye Ping, the Huang family lawyer, said that yesterday’s court ruling was “a result that all of us expected.”

Toxic chemical

At his trial in February last year, a lower court heard how Lin had stolen a toxic chemical, dimethylnitrosamine (DMN), from a university lab and put some in a water dispenser. Huang drank from the dispenser on April 1, 2013, but soon fell ill. Lin claimed the poisoning was an “April Fool’s joke” to test Huang’s reaction.

Huang died 15 days later from multiple organ failure.

Lin’s lawyers argued at his appeal on December 8 last year that Huang could have died from hepatitis B and cast doubt on whether the chemical was DMN.

Yesterday, the court said the chemical Lin used was undoubtedly DMN since it was discovered in the water Huang drank, the cup Huang used and in Huang’s urine and blood. The manufacturer also confirmed that the DMN in the bottle was 99.9 percent pure.

The court said it excluded the hepatitis B defense for three reasons — Huang suffered from liver failure, and later multiple organ failure, just after he drank the contaminated water from the dispenser; DMN was found in Huang’s body; and two reports by forensic doctors said the death was related to DMN poisoning.

The court also said Lin’s “April Fool’s joke” statement did nothing to prove the poisoning was not an intention to kill.

Rat experiment

Lin said 58 of 70 rats injected with the chemical in an experiment had survived, which made him believe Huang would be fine. But the court said that, because of the experiment, Lin clearly knew the chemical could cause liver damage and death. As a medical student with specialized knowledge, he still chose to add the chemical at an amount obviously exceeding that which could cause death to the water dispenser. That should be considered murder.

It also said Lin’s claim that he had diluted the mixture in the dispenser by taking two or three cups of the mixture out and adding the same amount of tap water lacked evidence.

Wang Hui, deputy chief of Ruijin Hospital’s infectious diseases department, said yesterday she disagreed with Hu Zhiqiang, a forensic expert called by Lin’s family who said Huang had died from a burst of viral hepatitis B. Hu had said tests of hepatitis B indexes were all positive and his symptoms were very similar to those of hepatitis B.

But Wang said: “Huang’s condition is special because he had these tests during a period when he was suffering from liver failure, when his immunity was likely to experience a change.” She said tests for an important index to judge if a person had hepatitis B had shown it to be negative.

Cong Bin, vice chairman of the Chinese Forensic Medicine Association, also said there was no virus replication in Huang’s body.

Lin’s lawyers said they will contest the verdict vigorously when the Supreme People’s Court reviews the case.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend