Officials have claimed a luxury car is needed for officials to help oversee executions and for staff overtime.
The Intermediate People’s Court of Weinan, Shaanxi province, said an Audi Q5 SUV police car was used for staff commanding executions and also officials who have to work during holidays.
The court issued a statement after an online post accused the authorities of spending public money on cars for officials’ private use, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
In the post on cnwest.com, a news portal in Shaanxi province, one author, whose identity was unclear, said the vehicle was “prestigious” and said the car’s registration plate indicated it was publicly-owned.
The author, who demanded an investigation, added it was never difficult for the government “to spend ordinary people’s money”.
In a statement, the court said the car had been used by a vice-president of the court, but after President Xi Jinping declared a crackdown on official extravagance last year, it was now used by officials overseeing executions. In addition, during holidays, it was used by officials working overtime.
Photos which have circulated of the vehcile online were taken when the car was on its way to be washed, the court added.
But the explanation left some internet users a little confused.
“Maybe the court can explain the relations between a luxury car and the execution commanding work,” Zong Lihui, a lawyer in Xi’an, asked on Sina Weibo.
On the mainland an Audi Q5 costs between 350,000 yuan and 600,000 yuan (HK$445,000 to HK$760,000), according to its website.