China to step up efforts to curb serious crime

Updated: 2006-11-08 21:57

BEIJING -- China will step up efforts to crackdown on serious crime, according to China's chief justice.

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"In the past nine years, 22.23 percent of all convicted criminals have been sentenced to more than five years in jail," said Xiao Yang, president of the Supreme People's Court, at a national conference on criminal trials which began on Tuesday.

"From January 1998 to September 2006, courts at all levels in China have dealt with more than 5.3 million criminal cases, with the number rising an average of 5.14 percent annually," said Xiao.

"Courts in China have been upholding the policy of only pronouncing a guilty verdict when there is adequate evidence," he added.

But the actual number of defendants found not guilty is very low. "Chinese courts have found around 41,000 defendants not guilty in the past nine years, 0.66 percent of all people tried in court," said Xiao.

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