A British Airways airplane flies past a signage for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in London
A British Airways airplane flies past a signage for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in LondonReuters

Mark Reilly, former boss of GlaxoSmithKline China, will be deported to the UK from China after he pleaded guilty to bribery charges in the country.

Reuters, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter reported that Reilly, who was given a three-year suspended prison sentence, will not face jail time in the country.

"Reilly will be deported so he won't be in detention in China," the source told the news agency.

Earlier, the company's China subsidiary was fined £297m ($488.8m, €376m) by the Changsha Intermediate People's Court in Hunan Province, China, after it was found guilty of bribing non-government personnel for commercial gains.

In the lawsuit, a number of GSK China employees were sentenced to jail terms between two and four years. Following a one-day trial behind closed doors, Reilly was given a three-year jail term, but it was suspended for four years.

Reilly had been banned from leaving China for the past year, after he was accused of heading a £300m bribery scheme to lure doctors to prescribe GSK drugs. He and his Chinese girlfriend were also allegedly featured in a sex tape that was emailed to GSK senior executives in March.

China's Ministry of Public Security earlier accused GSK executives of routing 3bn yuan ($488m) in bribes to doctors through 700 travel agencies and consultancies over six years.

In connection with the allegations, Chinese authorities have taken several GSK executives into custody and claim a number of them admitted to criminal charges of bribery and tax law violations.

GSK earlier said it was acknowledging the court verdict, and apologised to the Chinese people.

"GSK plc fully accepts the facts and evidence of the investigation, and the verdict of the Chinese judicial authorities. Furthermore, GSK plc sincerely apologises to the Chinese patients, doctors and hospitals, and to the Chinese Government and the Chinese people. GSK plc deeply regrets the damage caused," the company said in its apology.

"Reaching a conclusion in the investigation of our Chinese business is important, but this has been a deeply disappointing matter for GSK. We have and will continue to learn from this," CEO Sir Andrew Witty said.