Execution for police chief in death plot

A LOCAL police chief from the central province of Shaanxi was executed for attempting to assassinate his county's party secretary, the Shaanxi Daily reported.

Gao Shengxiu, the director of Mizhi County Public Security Bureau, had tried to blow up the party secretary Mr Zhang Zenglian after a long-standing feud between the two men developed into open warfare, the newspaper said.

Gao, 49, had been the target of persistent criticism from the party secretary since he took office but the dispute between the two came to a head in October 1989 when Mr Zhang ordered a public investigation into irregularities in the public security bureau's processing of residence permits.

The police chief thought Mr Zhang was deliberately trying to make life difficult for him and began to plot his revenge, the newspaper said.

In March 1990, Gao inscribed a ''superstitious incantation'' on the inside of a wok which he threw into Mr Zhang's family courtyard in the dead of night.

He followed this up by writing two anonymous letters threatening the party secretary with violence.

Two months later, Gao went to the local coal mine to demand explosives, detonators and other equipment which he then fashioned into a crude home-made bomb.

Gao then recruited an accomplice, Jiang Zhifu, to place the bomb in the party secretary's house four or five days after he had left the county on business.

Jiang stole into the compound in the small hours of May 11, 1990, and ignited the explosives with his cigarette.

Unfortunately for the conspirators, Mr Zhang had also gone away on business that evening.

Although Mr Zhang's house suffered extensive damage, no one was injured.