CHINA EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED OF SPYING
November 28, 2008: despite pleas for clemency from the Bush administration and European officials, a biomedical researcher convicted of espionage by a Chinese court was executed, according to family members and American Embassy officials.
The researcher, Wo Weihan, 59, was a scientist and owner of medical supply company. He was convicted last May of passing military documents and classified information about an unidentified Chinese leader to Taiwan.
A distant relative of Mr. Wo, Guo Wanjun, 66, was convicted as a conspirator and also put to death, family members said.
The U.S. State Department said it was "deeply disturbed" by news of Wo's execution and that his arrest and trial "fell far short of international standards for due process."
Wo was sentenced to death by the Beijing court in May 2007 and his final appeal was denied on Feb. 29. The sentence was automatically forwarded to the supreme court for approval.
Human rights groups and diplomats from the EU, Austria and the United States had appealed to China on Wo's behalf, contending that he did not receive a fair trial and was given an overly harsh sentence. (Sources: Ap, New York Times, 29/11/2008)