Briton Akmal Shaikh executed in China

Michael Sainsbury; 30/12/09

China has ignored last-minute pleas by the British government and executed its first European national for 50 years, putting convicted drug courier Akmal Shaikh to death yesterday.  British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was “appalled and disappointed” after Shaikh, 53, died in the northwestern city of Urumqi for possessing 4kg of heroin. The British government and Shaikh’s family had claimed the former minicab company chief and father of three should not have stood trial because of a severe bipolar disorder. He had been denied an independent mental examination since his arrest in 2007.