Monday, October 26, 2020

China: Former deputy director, Zhen pleads guilty to bribery

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Wu Zhen, former deputy director of the China Food and Drug Administration, pleaded guilty to taking bribes of more than 20 million yuan ($2.9 million) and abuse of power during a trial on Thursday.

Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan province adjourned the case and decided to announce the ruling another day.

Prosecutors accused Wu of taking advantage of several positions from 1996 to 2018, including director of the Jiangxi provincial drug supervision and administration bureau and deputy head of the former China Food and Drug Administration, to assist some entities and individuals in matters of drug approval and employment.

The CFDA was merged with some other government agencies to form the current State Administration for Market Regulation in the latest round of government reform last year.

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Wu had illegally taken gifts and properties, either directly or through relatives, that were worth over 21.7 million yuan, prosecutors said.

During the period he served as deputy director of CFDA, Wu showed favoritism to his friends and abused his power, causing great losses to the interests of the country and people, according to prosecutors. “The circumstances are particularly serious and thus should be investigated for crimes of accepting bribes and abusing power,” a court release said, quoting prosecutors.

Wu, born in 1958 in Jiangxi province, was expelled from the Communist Party of China in February over serious violation of Party discipline and laws, the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission said in an earlier release.

He was put under investigation in August, which found him meddling with drug regulations, showing up in private clubs, banquets and other trips that might have affected the fair execution of his work, as well as trading power with money, the release said.

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According to CCDI, Wu, who holds a Master’s degree, also held the post of secretary-general of Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission from 2007 to 2011.

Separately, Zhao Zhengyong, former Party chief of Shaanxi province, was disqualified as a deputy to the 13th People’s Congress of Shaanxi province on Thursday.

The 68-year-old kicked off his career in 1968. He was appointed secretary of the Anhui provincial Political and Legal Affairs Commission in 2000. One year later, Zhao started to work in the same position in Shaanxi province, and he became the Party chief of the province in 2012.

On Jan 15, Zhao was placed under investigation by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission for suspected serious violations of Party disciplinary rules and laws.

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