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Newborn survives live burial attempt
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A couple in southwest China may face attempted murder charges after they allegedly hired fellow villagers to bury their newborn grandson alive because the family couldn't afford to treat his diseases.

The grandparents are under police detention at their home in a village in Chongqing's Daduhe District, according to a report in yesterday's Chongqing Evening News.

The grandfather, surnamed Du, paid a local gravedigger 100 yuan (US$14.6) to bury the month-old baby in early December because the child suffered from serious congenital heart disease and pneumonia, the report said.

The local court, which is set to hear the case later this month, could order prison sentences of 10 years or more if the defendants are convicted, the report quoted lawyer Zhang Shiqiang as saying.

The grandparents were fond of the baby, who was born on November 12, until a doctor told them he had a heart disease that was difficult to treat.

The desire to help treat their grandson gave way to the murder attempt - apparently without the knowledge of the parents - when the size of the potential medical bills became evident, the report said.

On December 9, the grandmother, Chen Fangzhen, took the baby from his mother and said she would care for him for the night, the report said. The next day, the couple called the village gravedigger, surnamed Huang, gave him 100 yuan and asked him to bury the baby, which they said was dead, said the report.

But Huang discovered that the baby was still alive and reported the matter to authorities, the newspaper said.

(Shanghai Daily February 3, 2009)

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