China adopts new measure to try corrupt offical

Updated: 2006-12-30 21:27

BEIJING -- Another high-level official was tried in China this month on corruption charges. But he was tried far from the place in which he worked and carried influence.

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Wang Youjie, deputy director of the standing committee of Henan provincial people's congress, stood trial in Jingzhou of Hubei province for receiving bribes worth 6.34 million yuan (about 812,820 U.S. dollars) and possessing 7.56 million yuan (about 969,230 dollars) worth of property he was unable to account for.

In November, Wang Zhaoyao, former deputy secretary of Anhui provincial committee of the CPC, was tried in Jinan of Shandong province.

"The measure aims to prevent interference in the legal process, which is a real threat in places where the official once worked, and ensure fair trials," said Chen Weidong, law professor of Beijing-based People's University of China.

He said judges from other places are more likely to be independent and fair in the trials, noting that local judges might have been promoted by the official on trial.

He called the practice "a necessary and effective measure" to cope with corruption.

The practice of trying high-rank officials on corruption charges in other places started in 2001 with the trial of Ma Xiangdong, former deputy mayor of Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning province.

"When the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection was investigating Ma's case, the investigators found Ma's wife was trying to influence the investigation through Ma's network of connections," said Ren Jianmin, deputy director of the anti-corruption research center of Tsinghua University.

"So the commission decided to try Ma in another place," he said. Ma was tried in a court in east China's Jiangsu province.

Since Ma's trial, more than 90 percent of the trials of high-level officials, mainly those at the ministerial or mayoral levels, have followed this practice.

In these cases, the trial courts are designated by the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Supreme People's Court.

Ren said trying high-rank officials charged with corruption in other places is becoming standard practice.

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