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China compensates food and drug corruption whistleblower

[JURIST] The Chinese government compensated Zhang Zhijian, who exposed the corruption of former drug safety commissioner Zheng Xiaoyu, in the amount of 24,000 yuan ($3,175 USD) after he spent 10 months in jail for posting an Internet story on the corruption, AP reported Tuesday. Zhang was originally sentenced [JURIST report] to six years imprisonment in March for defaming the government. He was released from prison in April.

Zheng was executed [JURIST report] earlier this month, after the Supreme People's Court [official website] denied his appeal for leniency. In May, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court convicted Zheng and sentenced him to death [JURIST report]. Zheng, who served as the food and drug commissioner from 1998 to 2005, allowed eight pharmaceutical companies to bypass the drug approval process, including one company whose antibiotic is suspected of killing at least 10 people. Last Friday, Zheng's former subordinate, former Pharmaceutical Registration Department Director Cao Wenzhuan, was also sentenced to death [JURIST report] for receiving approximately $316,000 in bribes in exchange for certifying substandard drugs from two pharmaceutical companies. Death sentences in China require the approval [JURIST report] of the Supreme People's Court. AP has more.

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