Updated on 11 August 2014
An image of the proceedings showing Mr Humphrey (2L) and Yu Yingzeng (in red), released by the Chinese court
Singapore: On charges of trafficking personal data, China has sentenced Mr Peter Humphrey of ChinaWhys to two-and-a-half years in jail. His American wife Ms Yu Yingzeng has been sentenced to two years.
The Shanghai court argued based on evidence of trouble ridden British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) China hiring services of the couple. GSK itself is facing investigation for possible bribery and corruption.
The court said that it found the couple to be guilty of illegally obtaining Chinese citizen's data and selling it to China-based multinational firms, including GSK China. A news report explained that both Mr Humphrey and Ms Yingzeng had admitted to buying background information - but said they did not realize it was illegal to do so. The report further added that the couple have the right to appeal against their sentences within 10 days.
Reuters quoted a court official's announcement claiming that Mr Humphrey would be deported, but gave no further details.
However, the verdict did not make a link between Mr Humphrey's investigations and the allegations against the pharmaceutical giant GSK.
Allegations first emerged when a whistleblower of the company sent out an email revealing a sex tape involving the then GSK China head, Mr Mark Reilly. GSK is said to have then appointed ChinaWhys, the firm run by the couple, to investigate the source of the footage. Mr Humphrey was arrested soon after he submitted his investigation report to GSK.