31 Jul 2014, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The Chinese government has now officially announced that the trial of the two private investigators tied to GlaxoSmithKline's operations in the country will be held on August 8.
A Chinese court revealed that the duo would be in court on charges of illegally purchasing personal information about Chinese nationals. As per news reports, this would be an open trial.
Mr Peter Humphrey, a British national and his wife Ms Yu Yingzeng, a US citizen have been in Chinese custody since August last year when the GSK bribery and sex scandal unfolded. The company had faced allegations for funneling upto $489 million in bribes to Chinese doctors and other healthcare professionals to promote sales of its drugs.
Earlier this July, reports of GSK hiring Mr Humphrey's company, ChinaWhys to investigate a sex tape involving the MNC's former Chinese head Mr Mark Reilly came to light. The sex tape was said to be shot without Mr Reilly's knowledge and had been circulated through email to all GSK employees and its CEO.
Chinese prosecutors have pointed out that the duo behind ChinaWhys had ‘illegally trafficked a huge amount of personal information on Chinese citizens to seek profits,' state news agency Xinhua reported.
It added that the information involved home registrations, background on family members and call logs of citizens, some of which they had allegedly purchased illegally. They were also accused of tailing people and secretly photographing them.
Initially there was a stir as a report had pointed out that China had barred all outsiders, including the couple's teenage son, from attending the trial. But ahead of demands for more transparency from US and UK officials, this is said to have now turned into an open trial.