[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jan 25 10:54:12 CST 2006
Bribery draws a death sentence
A former top Party official in Jiangsu Province was sentenced to death
yesterday for taking bribes in Fujian Province.
The sentence will be commuted to life in jail if Xu Guojian is a model
prisoner for two years. Xu took bribes of 6.4 million yuan (US$793,956)
from 1992 to 2004 when he was Party chief of Yancheng city and then head
of the Organization Department of the Party's Jiangsu provincial
committee. He helped gain favors for a traffic official and 4 officials at
local companies, the court in Xiamen, Fujian, was told.
(source: Shanghai Daily)
UN official urges more action on death penalty
A senior United Nations (UN) official has criticised the Federal
Government over what he says is its failure to stop the death penalty
being imposed against Australians overseas.
UN official Philip Alston made the comment as Indonesian prosecutors
recommended that at least one of the so-called Bali 9 be executed if found
guilty of allegedly planning and funding a heroin trafficking operation.
Indonesian prosecutors said there was no reason to grant leniency to the
alleged ringleader Myuran Sukumaran, but did recommend life imprisonment
for one of his co-defendants Michael Czugaj.
Mr Alston has told ABC Radio's AM program that the Australian Government
needs to do more on the death penalty issue.
"There are going to be many more Australians potentially on death row in
various Asian countries and to pretend that's not the case, is burying
your head in the sand," he said.
"So the question now is what's the Government going to do."
Mr Alston says Australia acted too late to spare the life of Melbourne man
Van Nguyen, and it is now time to do more to ensure that one of the
so-called Bali nine, if convicted, does not face execution.
While Mr Alston says Australia should continue to help countries which
have the death penalty fight crime, it should do so on the condition that
no Australian is sentenced to death.
"It's a matter of saying we have a strong opposition in Australia to the
death penalty and we would condition our cooperation on your not applying
the death penalty when you are operating on the basis of information or
assistance provided by us," he said.
(source: ABC News)
Thai men in death penalty appeal -- The men's lawyer said they did not
know what their sentence would be
2 Thai fishermen have appealed against their death sentences for the rape
and murder of Cardiff student Katherine Horton on New Year's Day.
Wichai Somkhaoyai, 24, and Bualoi Posit, 23, were handed the death penalty
for the killing on Koh Samui.
The pair's lawyer claimed they were convicted solely on DNA evidence and
that they confessed to her murder "out of a sense of remorse".
Human rights groups have voiced concern at the speed of the men's trial.
The men received the sentence of death by lethal injection a week ago at a
court in the southern Thai province of Surat Thani. The sentencing judge
said their crime had "terrified people".
Both had pleaded guilty to raping and killing 21-year-old year old Miss
Horton, who was on holiday with a fellow student from Reading University.
Thai authorities moved swiftly in the criminal investigation after Thai
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra intervened, saying the student's killers
should be executed because they had harmed the country's reputation.
On Wednesday, the fishermen's lawyer said they were appealing on grounds
that the death penalty was "too harsh" and that their conviction was
secured without eyewitnesses.
Katherine Horton's body was found on 2 January
Amarin Nuimai said that his clients had co-operated with police and
confessed to Miss Horton's murder without knowing the consequences.
"Both of them had little education. They didn't even know what the maximum
sentence they could face, so we have asked the court of appeals to
reconsider the death sentences," Mr Nuimai told AFP news agency. A 29-page
document outlining the appeal has been submitted to the authorities.
The lawyer said he expected the appeals court to consider the high-profile
case, given that it was a gruesome crime that affected Thailand's
Miss Horton was attacked as she made a mobile phone call on Koh Samui's
Lamai beach, where she and her friend had rented accommodation during
their New Year break.
The murder happened on the beach where the student was staying
The fishermen's trial heard she was beaten with a parasol pole, raped and
later dumped out at sea, where she drowned.
The fishermen, the judges were told, had been watching pornographic films
on their boat before swimming ashore to make the attack.
After the trial, Miss Horton's family thanked Thai police for "their
diligent and speedy apprehension of the offenders".
But Fair Trials Abroad and Amnesty International criticised the speed of
Amnesty International said it was concerned about the speed of a trial
held amid political pressure for a quick resolution.
Fair Trials Abroad said it was not aware of a death sentence being imposed
in similar murder cases in Thailand.
(source: BBC News)
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