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China tries former drug safety official for corruption

[JURIST] The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court began judicial proceedings against former Pharmaceutical Registration Department director Cao Wenzhuan Thursday as a part of China's crackdown on corruption at the State Food and Drug Administration [official website, in Chinese], where high-ranking officials allegedly received bribes in exchange for the certification of substandard drugs. Cao alleged received $307,000 in bribes from two pharmaceutical companies, and has also been charged with neglecting his duty to properly certify medication.

In May, former Commissioner of the State Food and Drug Administration Zheng Xiaoyu, was sentenced to death for receiving $832,000 in bribes [JURIST report] and allowing eight companies to bypass the drug approval process. One improperly approved antibiotic is suspected of killing at least 10 people. Zheng, who served as the food and drug commissioner from 1998 to 2005, has appealed his death sentence on the grounds that it is too harsh because he cooperated with the investigation and has confessed his crimes. Death sentences in China require the approval [JURIST report] of the Supreme People's Court [official website]. AP has more.

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