Tue, Dec 02, 2008 - Page 5 News List

EU pans China over execution

‘RUDE INTERFERENCE’The trial of Wo Weihan was just and his rights were fully protected, Foreign Ministry sApokesman Qin Gang said in a statement yesterday


China dismissed criticism by the EU over the execution of a Chinese medical researcher and businessman accused of spying for Taiwan, saying yesterday that he had received a fair trial.

Wo Weihan (伍維漢) was executed on Friday after being convicted of passing data on missile guidance systems to a group linked to Taiwanese intelligence agencies.

The EU issued a statement condemning Wo’s execution and deploring the conditions under which Wo was detained and tried, saying it did not comply with international standards.

It said China had not heeded repeated calls by the EU and several of its member states for the execution to be deferred and for the death sentence to be commuted.

The trial of Wo was just and his rights had been protected, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang (秦剛) said in a statement yesterday on the ministry’s Web site.

Qin said China views the EU’s criticism as a “rude interference in China’s judiciary that tramples the spirit of the rule of law and undermines the basis of the healthy development of bilateral talks on human rights.”

The US also expressed concerns over the case, saying on Friday it was “deeply disturbed” by the execution and that Wo’s arrest and trial appeared to have fallen “far short of international standards for due process.”

Diplomats from Austria, where two of Wo’s daughters are citizens, had also appealed on Wo’s behalf.

Wo was sentenced to death by the Beijing court in May last year and his final appeal was denied on Feb. 29.

The sentence was automatically forwarded to the Supreme Court for review.

Meanwhile, Wo’s family has not been officially informed of his death or what happened to his body, his daughter said yesterday.

“I can’t even describe how I feel about this. Angry of course,” said Ran Chen, Wo’s daughter. “We have sent letters to the US embassy asking them to help us to get further information, and we did the same with the Austrian embassy.”

Chen is an Austrian citizen married to an American. The Austrian embassy informed her of her father’s death shortly after his execution, but she said the Chinese authorities had remained silent.

She said the family wanted to know what happened to the body, as they were planning a funeral in Beijing, and whether Wo left a will.

“So far we haven’t received anything, but we really hope it’s going to happen today,” Chen said.

Also See: EDITORIAL:Wo Weihan: ‘spy’, father, victim

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