29/05/2007 - China has today sentenced to death the former director of its State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), on charges of corruption, according to reports in the Chinese media.
The hardline approach may be an attempt by the country to demonstrate to the world its seriousness in stamping out the corruption that is reportedly rife throughout the healthcare and pharmaceutical, among other industries, and has been muddying the country's reputation, causing it to miss out on billions of dollars of foreign investment.
The death penalty was slammed on Zheng Xiaoyu by a Beijing court for taking over $850,000 (€632,000) worth of bribes in the form of cash and gifts. Incidently he also received a sentence of seven years' imprisonment for dereliction of duty.
In addition, all Zheng's personal property was confiscated and he was deprived of his political rights for life, according to media reports. His wife and son are also implicated and are still being investigated, among others who are believed to be involved.
Zheng, who reigned as China's chief drug and food official between 1997 and 2006, does, however, still have the right to appeal.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007