The sentences in the melamine-tainted infant formula trials have been handed down, Xinhua reports. They are harsh, if not unexpectedly so.
The most prominent defendant Tian Wenhua, who was chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, the largest producer of baby milk powder, gets life imprisonment and a 20 million yuan ($2.9 million) fine. Now-bankrupt Sanlu was fined 50 million yuan.
Separately (the sentencing was spread across five courts in Shijiazhuang in Hebei province), two of the middleman involved, cattle farmer Zhang Yujun and milk trader Geng Jinping, received death sentences. Zhang Yujun was accused of running an illegal workshop in Shandong province, producing 600 tonnes of the fake protein powder –the largest source of melamine in the country. Geng Jinping was convicted of producing and selling toxic products to dairy companies from his milk production base.
The courts also jailed two other people for life and six, including three former Sanlu executives, for between five and 15 years for their part in the scandal, Xinhua says.
Apart from the 21 defendants who have been sentenced or tried, a further 18 have been arrested but it is unclear if or when they might be tried.