SOUTH KOREA: Cloning scientist guilty of embezzlement

Disgraced South Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk was found guilty last Monday of embezzling from his stem cell research fund and illegally buying human embryos, reports Ju-min Park for the Los Angeles Times. The Seoul court also ruled that Hwang, 56, who became a national hero after he claimed to be the first to successfully clone human stem cells, had partially fabricated the results of his research.

He was given a two-year sentence that was suspended provided he stayed out of trouble with the law for the next three years. "He feels deeply sorry that this case elicited so much criticism in the scientific field and shocked the public...His wrongdoing is not minor but does not merit the severe punishment of a prison sentence," the Seoul Central District Court said in the verdict.

Hwang's surprising findings in his stem cell research drew him a cult-like following. Immediately after he disclosed the findings in 2004, many medical experts and patients hoped that the breakthrough might lead to cures for diseases such as cancer.
Full report on the Los Angeles Times site