China weeds out crooked prosecutors

Updated: 2006-10-30 20:27

Ninety-one Chinese prosecutors have been punished for violating law enforcement procedures while carrying out criminal investigations since May 2005, Prosecutor-general Jia Chunwang of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said Monday.

The prosecutors were punished as a result of a nationwide campaign launched by the SPP to regulate law enforcement activities in a bid to "enforce legal supervision and safeguard justice", said Jia in his report to China's top legislature.

A total of 275 prosecutors have been removed from office and retrained for serious faults with law enforcement procedures since 2003, Jia said.

China's has been investigating job-related crimes of high-level officials, "profitable" government sections, monopoly industries and state-owned companies in recent years in an effort to weed out corruption.

However, misconduct of prosecutors and unlawful behavior such as illegally prolonging a suspects custody and taking bribes have aroused public concern and criticism.

"Law enforcement activities which go against rules still exist in certain places," Jia said, adding that such behavior has negatively effected society and must be stopped.

The prosecutor-general said the SPP has been targeting four types of violations in the nationwide campaign, including favoritism for personal gain, misconduct during law enforcement activities, dereliction of duty and malfeasance.

In an effort to improve judicial justice, the SPP last March also required prosecuting departments to phase in the practice of audio taping and videotape interrogation of suspects in job-related crimes to prevent trapping or torturing suspects into confessions.

The SPP also required the agencies to respect lawyers' rights in meeting with suspects and collecting evidence during criminal proceedings to protect the rights of those being prosecuted.

Reviewing the national campaign to better regulate law enforcement, Jia said such efforts have greatly reduced the unlawful activities of China's prosecutors.

The Prosecutor-General said complaints against prosecutors dropped 20.7 percent since 2003 and the number of prosecutors disciplined dropped 61.9 percent since 2003.


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