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December 5, 2009

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Family of stolen baby pursues compensation

THE family whose newborn baby was stolen from a hospital in northwestern China's Shaanxi Province is seeking 110,000 yuan (US$16,113) compensation even though the child was returned unharmed after three days.

Father Yan Xiaohong said the compensation would cover mental distress and transport costs. But the First Hospital Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University, where the baby was stolen from a maternity room, said it was also a victim in the case and refused to pay compensation, China Business News reported yesterday.

An official with the hospital said every pregnant woman receives a warning not to let her baby leave custody on the first day after being born. The hospital also showed a signed statement saying the family understood the rules.

Yan told the newspaper they were tricked by the hospital into signing the paper as both his wife Zhang Lanfang and his sister Yan Xueli are illiterate. Yan signed the paper because a nurse said it was fine to just sign it.

Ge Qianru allegedly disguised herself as a nurse and walked into Zhang's maternity room on November 27 and took her 15-hour-old daughter, saying tests had been ordered for the baby.

Hospital head Li Xu said the facility had observed all the rules and it should not be held responsible for the kidnapping. He said the hospital will not pay any compensation nor punish its employees.

Police arrested Ge on Monday in Guangdong Province.


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