Drugs chief who netted 24m yuan put on trial

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am

A former deputy head of the mainland's drug administration has gone on trial for taking more than a million yuan in bribes and other illegal activities that netted a further 23 million yuan (HK$28 million) and included dubious bulk sales of books he wrote in office, according to an indictment cited by a Beijing newspaper.

Zhang Jingli, former deputy director of the State Food and Drug Administration, also faces charges for allegedly ordering his staff to send more than 1,300 letters containing false accusations against his rivals to the Communist Party's disciplinary committee, the Beijing Evening News reported yesterday.

Zhang, 56, went on trial 'in recent days'. He was also charged in connection with operating illegal businesses, the paper reported.

Zhang, who had been the administration's deputy chief since October 2003, was taken into custody by Beijing police on December 24, and formally arrested two weeks later.

The report quoted the court papers as saying Zhang allegedly took 1.18 million yuan in bribes on four occasions between 2005 and April last year. One of the charges involved assistance to an unnamed pharmaceutical company in Guangzhou.

The other three bribery charges relate to books that Zhang penned and allegedly sold in bulk at inflated prices to drug companies that were keen to gain his favour or make an indirect bribe.

The newspaper cited the court papers as saying that on one occasion after Zhang helped three companies, including Beijing Landtower Investment, each of the firms ordered 1,400 copies of one of the official's books, priced at 368 yuan each.

Zhang was also charged over illegal business operations, including the unlicensed printing of 43,000 copies of the book used in the alleged scam.

It was unclear when the verdict in Zhang's case was likely to be issued.