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The plot thickens

December 14, 2010 by admin

I had to read this story three times and I still don’t get it.  It’s just weird on so many levels, but at least I know it’s safe to drink Sprite in China…just not with friends or lovers.

The “victim” in the infamous “poisonous Sprite” case has been found guilty by a Beijing court of defaming Sprite’s producer Coca-Cola by claiming the mercury which poisoned him was already in the tin he drank from, the Beijing News reported.

Ma Sai, a 23-year-old Beijing native, confessed that he tried to seek compensation from Coca-Cola by disguising it as a food safety accident, though he knew somebody had put the mercury into his drink.

In fact, it was Ma’s ex-lover, a married woman, who allegedly put the mercury into his Sprite after conspiring with a friend of hers as revenge for Ma’s unfaithfulness.  The woman Liu Xiaojing and her friend Gao Xingyuan will be tried by the court today on a charge of attempted murder.

Ma was poisoned on November 7 last year after he drank Sprite served at a hotpot restaurant. Police later found the tin contained mercury.

Since Ma and his two friends, including Liu, at the dinner insisted that he opened the tin himself – and it was proved impossible to inject anything into the tin before it was opened – the case was first treated as a food safety accident by the police.  “We were misled by his statement,” the police officer handling the case said.

However, contradictions between Ma’s statements and the facts gathered by the police aroused suspicion.  Ma confessed that the Sprite was opened by others when he went to the toilet, but he wasn’t sure who did it.  In a bid to seek compensation, he asked the friends who dined with him to tell the police that the tin was opened by him.

As the story was so widely publicized, prosecutors charged Ma with damaging commercial reputation.  Police also discovered that Liu had opened the Sprite and put the mercury in.

Liu said she wanted to kill Ma as revenge for his infidelity. Ma had turned colder to her since the relationship was rejected by his family and began to court other women.

Gao, a security guard who used to study biomedicine, advised Liu to poison Ma with mercury, police said. (Article from Shanghai Daily News)

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