A Korean man charged with manufacturing and transporting narcotics was sentenced to death by a Chinese higher court and is awaiting a final ruling from the top court, sources here said Monday.
The suspect, whose identity was withheld except for his surname, Lee, is a resident of Japan but holds Korean nationality, according to the sources. Though he was given the death sentence by the lower court in April last year and the sentence was upheld by the higher court in December, this information was not known until recently, they said.
China's highest court, the Supreme People's Court, is reviewing the case, and if upheld, it can take months or years before the sentence is executed.
Sources said the South Korean embassy will soon be contacting Chinese authorities to seek leniency.
China executed a Korean man in 2001 on drug trafficking charges and recently carried out the death sentence of Japanese, Filipino and French inmates, all on drug-related crimes. There are three other Koreans who were given a death sentence by the lowest court, according to the sources.(YONHAP)