News that GlaxoSmithKline’s hired private investigators, Peter Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng have been sent to jail has been hitting media outlets since their sentences were handed down earlier today.
The verdict saw Humphrey sent to two years and six months in jail on charges of “illegally obtaining private information”, a fine of 25,000 yuan, and deportation from China. His wife was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of “illegally obtaining private information”, and a fine of 15,000 yuan.
The trial, which started early morning in the Shanghai First Intermediate People’s Court and finished [with the verdict] late in to the night, saw both Humphrey and his wife apologise profusely for their actions. Despite this they were both handed jail sentences.
Humphrey’s son, Harvey (19), had been watching proceedings and, according to The South China Morning Post, said “They were allowed to speak and present defence. I’m very sad about the court’s verdict but I hope the authorities would take into account of their poor health. I’m absolutely exhausted. I’m going home tonight.”
The South China Morning Post had earlier posted regular updates of the proceedings, a timeline of which can be found here.
Both Humphrey and his son have been critical of GlaxoSmithKline leading up to the trial, a trial that, bizarrely, made no reference whatsoever to Humphrey’s work for GlaxoSmithKline, at least not in the summaries made by The South China Morning Post.
Earlier in the day Yu’s lawyer asked Yu whose personal information she had obtained. The presiding judge interjected that such this has been dealt with at a pre-trial hearing. If these names are to be named again, then the current hearing could not be public, he said.
That was the closest we got to seeing or hearing GSK mentioned by name. Whether or not this had anything to do with GlaxoSmithKline’s law team or, indeed, British Prime Minister David Cameron, remains to be seen.
Harvey Humphrey will now return home knowing that his father will face the next two and a half years behind bars.
I’m reaching out to Harvey because I believe that his father and step mother have been treated unfairly. I believe GSK washed their hands of Harvey’s father the minute his private investigations firm, ChinaWhys, came under scrutiny from the Chinese authorities.
Glaxo, I believe, reeled him in, paid him handsomely to do work then spat him out and left him to the sharks.
They have clout, even in China. Why else would Mark Reilly be afforded the luxury of awaiting a future trial outside of prison bars when both Humphrey and his wife have been locked up for over a year while they face trial?
For those that don’t know, Reilly, a former head of GlaxoSmithKline China, is accused of running “massive bribery network”
He remains in China but has not been incarcerated while he awaits trial.
So, if by chance Harvey Humphrey reads this then I urge him to please make contact with me. Spill the beans on GlaxoSmithKline, use this blog as a soapbox… I can promise [unlike most journalists] not to make any edits. Harvey can go for the jugular – his father deserves that.