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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Japanese Drug Smuggler Executed In Northeast China

    BEIJING, April 6 (Bernama) -- Japanese citizen Mitsunobu Akano was executed Tuesday in the northeastern Liaoning Province for attempting to smuggle 2.5 kilogrammes of stimulant drugs from China to Japan with an accomplice in 2006, the Supreme People's Court announced, Xinhua reports Tuesday.

    Akano, 65, who was convicted in 2008, was caught carrying more than 1.544 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, commonly known as "ice," at an airport in Dalian, Liaoning, through a security check in September 2006.

    Police also found another 1.008 kilograms of drugs in the luggage of Akano's accomplice. Both were attempting to take the drugs to Japan.

    The courts had clear and irrefutable evidence of drug smuggling and the death sentence was handed down and carried out in line with Chinese law, Xinhua cited the announcement as saying Tuesday.

    The Dalian Intermediate People's Court sentenced Akano to death in June 2008. He appealed, but the sentence was finalised after the High People's Court of Liaoning upheld it in 2009.

    According to the announcement, he had been treated legally during detention and trial.

    Drug smuggling is a felony offense under Chinese Criminal Law and those who are convicted of smuggling, selling, transporting or producing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine or heroine can be sentenced to death.

    All individuals, regardless of nationality, were treated equally in the application of Chinese law, and China's retention of the death penalty for drugs crimes helped deter and prevent such crimes, the statement said.

    On Monday, it is reported that Akano was earlier expected to be executed Monday. The reason for the delay was not immediately clear.

    Akano's family members met him at a detention facility in the northeastern city of Dalian, another source said after a Japanese diplomatic vehicle believed to be carrying them was seen leaving the facility.

    Akano's execution is the first execution by China of a Japanese national since the two countries normalised diplomatic relations in 1972.

    -- BERNAMA

    April 06, 2010 12:46 PM

    http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsworld.php?id=488257

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