China executes former drug safety commissioner for taking bribes

China executes former drug safety commissioner for taking bribes

[JURIST] Zheng Xiaoyu, former commissioner of China's State Food and Drug Administration [official website, in Chinese] was executed Tuesday, as the Supreme People's Court [official website] denied Zheng's appeal for leniency. The court sanctioned Zheng's execution, saying that Zheng's acceptance of $850,000 in bribes and his serious dereliction of duty as a high-level official warranted the harsh penalty as it had a serious negative impact on society.

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. Xinhua has local coverage in English and additional coverage in Chinese.