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'Buy my book' official is jailed

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

15:48, July 27, 2012

A FORMER top official with China's drug watchdog has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for taking bribes, fabricating charges against a superior and illegally selling a book he wrote.

Zhang Jingli, former deputy director of the State Food and Drug Administration, asked for 1.17 million yuan (US$183,105) from drug companies and abused his office to facilitate their business between 2005 and 2010, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court heard.

The 57-year-old also made money by having companies buy his"Shou Shi Bu Yuan," a health guide, which he was not licensed to publish or sell, The Beijing News reported yesterday.

Zhang and Liao Hongbing, a Beijing entrepreneur, published a total of 43,000 books, raising more than 16 million yuan.

The court also heard that Zhang instructed Liao, Yang Jun and Pan Jingping, to send more than 1,300 letters to central authorities containing false accusations against his boss at the FDA, in an attempt to gain promotion.

Liao was sentenced to six years while Yang and Pan received jail terms of 20 months.

Zhang became deputy director of the administration in 2003. In a 2010 crackdown against prostitution, gambling and drugs, Beijing police busted the notorious Heaven on Earth nightclub and seized footage showing Zhang's involvement in some steamy scenes.

He was accused of leading an indecent life and placed under investigation before being sacked.

Zhang's downfall led to the arrest of three other officials - Li Bingchun, former township Party secretary in Beijing's Shunyi District, Zhang Bao, former deputy head of the district's Land and Resources Bureau, and Zhang Bo, former head of the Northern Printing Industry Zone.

Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that more than 60 officials at ministerial and provincial level were punished for discipline violations since the Party's last national congress.

They were among 600,000 people who faced punishments since the 17th National Congress of Communist Party of China in 2007, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said.

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