(UPI) -- Five men were on trial in central China, accused of illegal organ trading after a student sold his kidney to buy an iPad and iPhone, officials said.
Prosecutors said Wang Shangkun, 18, from Chenzhou in Hunan province, was recruited online and one of the defendants arranged for the operation and a transplant to pay off gambling debts, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.
Wang, who was 17 when his kidney was removed, suffered renal failure since the operation last year and is too sick to attend the court proceedings.
One of the five defendants is the surgeon who removed the organ and performed the transplant.
The defendants reportedly received about $35,000 for the transplant and the teenager apparently was given about $3,000 for his kidney, the BBC said.
The main defendant, He Wei, has denied charges he masterminded the plan.
The defendants, accused of intentional injury and illegal organ trading, could be sentenced to three and 10 years in prison. Four other people who are suspected of having minor roles in the matter face fines, Xinhua said.
In court Thursday, Wang's mother, Ou Linchun, said her son did not sell his kidney for the Apple products.
"My son was tempted by the illegal organ traders and might have been afraid of getting caught with such a large amount of money, so he bought a cell phone and a tablet PC," Ou told the court.