Main­land frees UK in­ves­ti­ga­tor’s wife in GSK case

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties have re­leased the jailed Amer­i­can wife and busi­ness part­ner of a Bri­tish in­ves­ti­ga­tor linked to a cor­rup­tion case in­volv­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant Glax­oSmithK­line (GSK), a fam­ily friend said Thurs­day.

Bri­tish na­tional Peter Humphrey was granted early re­lease on Tues­day, seven months be­fore his two-and-a-half year jail term for il­le­gally ob­tain­ing the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion of Chi­nese cit­i­zens was due to end. His wife was re­leased at the same time, the friend said.

The Bri­tish Con­sulate in Shang­hai said on Thurs­day that China was pre­par­ing to de­port Humphrey, but gave no time for when that might hap­pen.

“We have been no­ti­fied by the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties that ar­range­ments are be­ing put in place for the de­por­ta­tion of a Bri­tish na­tional de­tained in China,” a Bri­tish con­sulate spokes- man said in a state­ment to AFP.

Humphrey’s wife Yu Yingzeng, a nat­u­ral­ized Amer­i­can cit­i­zen, had been serv­ing a two-year term on a sim­i­lar charge. The Shang­hai court that con­victed them in Au­gust last year al­lowed time served in detention to count to­wards the sen­tences of both.

The two ran an in­ves­tiga­tive firm, Chi­naWhys, which was hired by GSK to probe a sex tape of the com­pany’s China boss and other is­sues shortly be­fore the Bri­tish phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany it­self be­come the tar­get of a Chi­nese gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion into bribery al­le­ga­tions.

Yu was also re­leased on Tues­day, but the fam­ily was un­aware un­til later con­tacted by sources in China, the fam­ily friend, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, told AFP.

“She was re­leased at the same time as Peter (Humphrey). We know noth­ing more,” she said, adding the ex­act where­abouts of the cou­ple was un­known although they were be­lieved to be still in Shang­hai.

Yu was orig­i­nally due to be re­leased next month.

A spokesman for the U.S. Con­sulate in Shang­hai de­clined to com­ment on her case.

GSK was fined 3.0 bil­lion yuan (US$490 mil­lion) by a Chi­nese court last Septem­ber fol­low­ing a nearly year-long bribery probe.

The court or­dered the firm’s for­mer head of China op­er­a­tions, Mark Reilly, to be de­ported, and sen­tenced four other for­mer GSK ex­ec­u­tives to be­tween two and four years in pri­son, state me­dia have re­ported.

The com­pany “re­sorted to bribery to boost sales of its prod­ucts and sought benefits in an un­fair man­ner,” the court said in a state­ment on the rul­ing, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial Xin­hua news agency.

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