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July 18, 2014

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Foreign pair to get public trial

THE trial of a foreign couple indicted on charges of illegally obtaining and selling personal information about Chinese citizens will be held in public, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court said yesterday.

The decision was announced following a pretrial hearing attended by British corporate investigator Peter Humphrey and his American wife Yingzeng Yu, their lawyers and translators.

Humphrey, 58, and Yu, 61, were arrested in August last year after being linked to United Kingdom-based pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline, which is at the center of a bribery scandal in China.

At the pretrial hearing, the couple’s lawyers sought authorities’ permission to have their families attend the trial.

The court agreed to the request and announced that the trial would be held in public.

A date, however, has yet to be set.

Humphrey and Yu were charged with illegally obtaining personal information by the Shanghai No. 1 Prosecutors Office in January.

Prosecutors said that the data they collected included details of people’s household registrations, property and car ownership, call logs and exit-entry records.

The indictment is the first of its kind to be brought by local prosecutors against foreigners.

GSK employed ChinaWhys — the Shanghai-based risk advisory firm set up by Humphrey in 2004, for which Yu also worked — last year to investigate a former staff member alleged to have circulated a sex tape of Reilly with his girlfriend, as well as sending emails containing allegations of widespread bribery at the company.

Meanwhile, the former vice director of Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission was yesterday charged by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate Prosecutors Office with embezzlement, taking bribes and acquiring property without an obvious source.

Huang Fengping had already been linked to the GSK bribery scandal, which involves illicit payments made to government officials, medical associations, hospitals and doctors across China

He was suspended from his job in December.

The neurosurgeon worked at Huashan Hospital for more than 10 years before becoming vice director of the family planning commission in 2012.


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