Ex-Chinese health official jailed for 19 yrs on graft charges

A former top Chinese health official was today sentenced to 19 years by a court in Shanghai city on charges of corruption.

Beijing: A former top Chinese health official was today sentenced to 19 years by a court in Shanghai city on charges of corruption.

Huang Fengping, former deputy director of the health and family planning in the eastern Chinese metropolis was sentenced by The Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's court for taking bribes, embezzlement and possessing a huge amount of assets with unclear sources.

The court found that Huang, 40, accepted cash and gold bars worth about three million yuan (about USD 480,000) from sales people and executives from pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies when he worked as deputy head in a Shanghai hospital and head of another from 2003 to 2013.

From 2009 to 2013, when Huang headed the neurosurgery branch of Shanghai's medical association, he embezzled about 1.4 million yuan of sponsorship money for the branch's events.

He also failed to explain the sources of his assets worth over 11 million yuan. The court will recover all assets and fine him five million yuan.

He was arrested in December 2013 and stood trial in August 2014, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of China's (CPC) discipline watchdog will target more corrupt low-level officials in 2015, an article published in its website said today.

In the article, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) pledged to "seek innovation with disciplinary inspection agencies below county level" and investigate more "flies", Chinese political rhetoric for corrupt minor officials.

Hundreds of officials were punished in the anti-corruption campaign in the the last two years.

The officials who faced investigations included former national security chief, Zhou Yangkong .

Another article published on the CCDI's website yesterday vowed harsh punishments for those found guilty.

"The harm of 'flies' is no less than that of 'tigers'," it said, the latter term referring to major corrupt officials.

Corruption at grassroots levels directly harms the immediate interests of the public and undermines the image of the CPC and the government. Such problems, low-profile as they may be, must not be tolerated, the article added. 

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