Lu Debin, a vice-governor of Henan, has been sacked and is facing criminal investigation, state media reported yesterday. The Publicity Department in Henan yesterday confirmed Mr Lu was under arrest but declined to specify the charges. A China News Service report said he had been arrested in connection with murder. 'According to informed sources, Lu Debin was arrested for hiring people to murder his wife,' the report said. Other mainland media reports alleged that Mr Lu murdered his wife because she refused to agree to a divorce. The China News Service report said his arrest had been approved by the provincial prosecutors on Wednesday. The provincial people's congress standing committee and the procuratorial agency were not available for comment. Henan media were ordered not to report on the death of Mr Lu's wife. According to the Henan Daily, he has been dismissed as vice-governor and lost his qualification as a representative to the provincial people's congress. Born in 1953, Mr Lu was a vice-president of the Henan Agriculture University before being promoted three years ago to head the province's agriculture, forestry and water conservancy. He was among the first batch of Chinese students sent by the state to the US to study after China began economic reforms in the early 1980s. He graduated with a doctorate from the University of Texas in 1988. Renmin University law professor Han Yusheng said employing other people to kill was considered first-degree murder and usually resulted in a death sentence or life imprisonment. 'From previous cases, senior government officials under criminal charges would not be treated any differently from regular citizens in front of the court,' he said.