Sex, drugs and videotapes: British GSK investigator freed from Chinese jail

Peter Humphrey released seven months early and wife set to be freed in weeks

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The Independent Online

A British corporate investigator who was working for the drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline in China has been released from jail in Shanghai.

Peter Humphrey was let out seven months early on health grounds and is understood to be in a Shanghai hospital. He will be deported to Britain once discharged.

Mr Humphrey, a former journalist for Reuters, and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, ran a risk consultancy called ChinaWhys in Shanghai that was used by a number of multinational companies.

But they were arrested after helping GSK investigate the source of a sex video involving its former China head, which had been sent anonymously to senior executives at the group along with emails alleging corruption.

The pair were convicted for breaking a law against obtaining private records of Chinese citizens. At their one-day trial, they said they were unaware such acts were criminal.

His wife will be freed in coming weeks. Mr Humphrey was due to complete his two-and-a-half year sentence in January.

The couple’s son Harvey – who is at university in the UK – yesterday said: “I’m stunned and delighted. I hope to see both my parents as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for the British consulate in Shanghai said: “We have been notified by the Chinese authorities that a British national detained in China has been released. We are providing consular assistance to the family.”

Shortly after Chinese authorities detained the couple in July 2013, the country’s police accused the drugs giant of funnelling money through travel agencies to bribe officials and doctors in China.

The investigation of GSK in China led to a $489m (£319m) fine against the company last year for paying bribes to doctors to use its drugs.

GSK declined to comment yesterday.