Lightning has killed 56 people in
... they are now executing their government ministers:
has sentenced the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration to death after he was convicted of corruption, state media has reported. Zheng Xiaoyu was sentenced after being found guilty of taking bribes and dereliction of duty, state Xinhua news agency reported. China
Zheng, 62, who was sacked in 2005 after seven years in the job, could have his sentence reduced on appeal. He was expelled from the Communist Party earlier this year. The death sentence is unusually harsh for such a senior figure, says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in
. Last month Zheng was accused of accepting more than 5m yuan ($650,000) in bribes to approve hundreds of drugs. Shanghai
Thirty-one other people were also alleged to have been involved in the scandal, including Zheng's wife, Liu Naixue, and his son, Zheng Hairong. The sentence comes amid a food safety scandal that has hit Chinese manufacturers. Two company managers have been detained, accused of adding melamine to food additives.
inspectors allege this led to the death of a number of cats and dogs after they ate contaminated pet food. US
The Chinese seem to like execution as a penalty and they do so much of it that some years back they decided to take it to the streets:
is equipping its courts with mobile execution vans as it shifts away from the communist system's traditional bullet in the head, towards a more "civilised" use of lethal injection. China
Intermediate Courts of the southern
were issued with 18 new execution vans on February 28 and a court official said some have already been used. provinceof Yunnan
"We cannot tell you how many executions so far, otherwise you could work out from the daily rate how many we carry out," the official said.
Chinese authorities keep execution numbers a secret, but Western human rights monitors believe it is about
15,000 ayear, more than the rest of the world's judicial executions combined.