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Former Drug Official Gets Suspended Death Sentence
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A Beijing court handed down a suspended death sentence to former drug registration official Cao Wenzhuang on Friday, on the heels of the death sentence received by former head of China's drug watchdog Zheng Xiaoyu.

Cao was found guilty of taking bribes and of dereliction of duty by the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

He was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve on the graft charge with an additional seven years in prison meted out for the dereliction of duty. The verdict also stipulated that all his personal belongings would be confiscated and stripped him of his political rights for life.

The court heard that Cao had accepted over 2.4 million yuan (about US$315,700) in bribes.

The court said Cao gave preferential treatment for two pharmaceutical companies by signing off on their drugs and medical instruments when he was head of the State Food and Drug Administration's department of drug registration from 2003 to 2005. 

(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2007)

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