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 China drug executive sentenced to death for graft

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matwms
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PostSubject: China drug executive sentenced to death for graft   Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:56 am

China has sentenced to death the former president of state-owned Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group for corruption, state media said Wednesday, in a case that has fuelled concerns over drug safety.

A Shanghai court on Tuesday sentenced Wu Jianwen, 42, to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes of more 11.87 million yuan ($1.9 million) and embezzling 33.55 million yuan, the China Business News reported.

Such rulings are typically commuted to life in prison. Authorities have also seized Wu's personal assets, which included overseas bank deposits, the report said, without giving the amount.

AFP calls to the Shanghai Number One Intermediate People's Court, which handed down the judgment, went unanswered on Wednesday.

Wu, who was detained in 2009, took bribes 35 times over a decade in return for buying raw materials to be used in the company's products and for granting sales rights to certain agents, state media said.

He also bought luxury homes at below market prices as a form of bribe.

Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group is China's third largest drug company by revenue, according to the firm.

The country's pharmaceutical industry has been hit by a number of scandals in recent years.

In 2007, the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, was executed after being convicted of taking bribes in return for approving hundreds of medicines, some of which proved dangerous.

Graft among government officials and executives of state-owned firms remains pervasive in China and is a major source of public resentment towards the government, despite numerous clean-up campaigns.

Top leaders of the ruling Communist Party have repeatedly called endemic corruption in China a threat to the party's legitimacy and have pledged to stamp it out.


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