A local hospital official in southwest China's Sichuan Province was sentenced to seven years in jail for embezzling medicine intended for survivors of the May 12 earthquake that claimed 69,227 lives, local authorities said on Tuesday afternoon.
Fu Hongyuan, deputy head of the Yuanba District Chinese Traditional Medicine Hospital of Guangyuan City, one of the worst-hit areas, was accused of embezzling medicine worth 17,950 yuan (2,639 U.S. dollars), the Guangyuan Intermediate People's Court told a news briefing.
He was jailed for seven years under the court's final ruling on Monday.
Fu picked up medicine from the Sichuan Zhongfang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd on May 20 and kept some of it at his driver's home. He later shifted the medicine to his brother's clinic, the court said.
Embezzling the medicine constituted a form of bribery and deserved a harsh penalty, a court official said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2008)