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Posts Tagged ‘upholds’

S.Korea upholds suspended term for faked stem-cell research

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

SEOUL, Dec 16, 2010 (AFP) – A South Korean appeals court Thursday upheld a suspended prison term for a scientist whose claims of stem-cell breakthroughs rocked the scientific world until his research was found to be faked.

But the court reduced the penalty on Hwang Woo-Suk, imposing an 18-month sentence suspended for two years.

Hwang Woo-Suk (C) leaves after his trial at the Seoul High Court in Seoul on December 16, 2010. AFP

In October last year Hwang had received a two-year sentence — suspended for three years — for embezzling research funds and ethical lapses in obtaining human eggs for experiments.

Prosecutors appealed, saying he should also have been convicted of fraudulently obtaining funds from two local firms using his falsified lab work.

The appeals court affirmed Hwang was guilty of embezzlement but not fraud, saying there was no causal relationship between the funds he obtained and the faked research.

Hwang, who turned 58 on Thursday, shot to fame in 2004 when he published a paper in the US journal Science claiming to have created the world’s first stem-cell line from a cloned human embryo.

In a follow-up paper in 2005 in the same journal, he maintained that his team had developed 11 patient-specific embryonic stem-cell lines.

The claims raised hopes of new treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s.

The government showered Hwang and his team from the prestigious Seoul National University (SNU) with money and honours, and Hwang was awarded the title of “Supreme Scientist”.

But his reputation was tarnished in November 2005 by allegations that he had violated medical ethics by accepting human eggs from his own researchers.

In January 2006 an SNU investigative team ruled in a report that his findings were faked and said he had produced no stem cells of any kind.

The appeals court said Hwang had undermined the credibility of South Korea’s scientific community. But it said a suspended sentence was in order in view of his work in animal cloning.

Hwang played a key role in creating Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog, an achievement which has been independently verified.

He has been on bail since his trial began in June 2006. He lost his government licence for human stem-cell research but still retains a loyal following.

Source: SGGP

Court upholds jail terms on two anti-State saboteurs

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

A Ho Chi Minh City court of appeals on May 11 upheld jail terms for two men convicted of “working to overthrow the people’s administration” and cut another defendant’s sentence after his appeal for clemency.

The court, under the Supreme People’s Court in HCM City , confirmed a 16-year sentence for Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, and five years for Le Cong Dinh.

Photo: Vietnam News Agency

However, it reduced the sentence for Le Thang Long to three and a half years from the original five.

Another defendant involved in the case, Nguyen Tien Trung, who was sentenced to seven years in prison at the first-stance trial, did not appeal.

All the four defendants will be kept under surveillance by local authorities for between three and five years after serving their sentences.

Speaking in defence for himself at the trial, Dinh again admitted his guilt, showed repentance, and begged for a reduction in his sentence.

But the jury said the lower court had applied mitigating circumstances for the defendant and the sentence was lighter than the proposed one, therefore it could not further reduce the sentence.

Meanwhile, Thuc only admitted he made mistakes in his way of thinking but denied his criminal acts aimed at “working to overthrow the people’s administration.”

The Supreme People’s Procuracy’s representatives reiterated that Thuc wrote documents and disseminated them via blogs and emails, in which he blackened the Vietnamese Party and State, and called on people to gather which constitute an attempt to overthrow the administration.

The jury said in conclusion that the case is a very serious one in which the defendants had infringed national security.

Source: SGGP