9 senior officials convicted for corruption in 2006
Updated: 2007-03-13 15:10
China's chief justice said in
Beijing on Tuesday that the efforts of Chinese courts in 2006 to crack down on
criminal activities of various kinds helped safeguard national security and
social stability, and promoted human rights protection.
Chief justice Xiao Yang reports the
work of the Supreme People's Court to the people's deputies at the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 13, 2007. [Xinhua]
In 2006, China's
Supreme People's Court (SPC) handled a total of 3,668 cases involving a variety
of crimes, up 14.77 percent over the previous year, said SPC President Xiao Yang
in a report on the judicial work, delivered to the national legislature for
Local courts at all levels heard and concluded 8,105,007 cases in 2006, an
increase of 2.07 percent year on year. Of the total, 2, 323 case involved state
compensation amounting to 34.84 million yuan (US$4.47 million), said Xiao.
Courts across the country in 2006 tried and concluded 245,254 criminal
cases involving felonies like explosion, murder, robbery, rape and kidnapping,
and sentenced 340,715 criminals convicted in such cases.
the top judge, Chinese judges in the past year also handled 23,733 cases of
embezzlement, bribery and dereliction of duty, sentencing 825 convicted
government officials above the county level, including 9 provincial- and
Corruption and commercial bribery have
become a prominent social problem in China, arousing public anger and leading to
the downfall of a number of high-ranking officials, including former head of
National Statistics Bureau Qiu Xiaohua and former director of State Food and
Drug Administration Zheng Xiaoyu.
Chen Liangyu, former Party chief of
Shanghai, China's economic center, was also put under investigation for his
involvement in a major social security fund scandal, in which 3.7 billion yuan
(US$475 million) of the fund was found to be misused.
One of the most
notorious convicted officials was Ding Xinfa, a former provincial
procurator-general of eastern Jiangxi Province, who was sentenced to 17 years
for bribery and embezzlement.
The disgraced list also included Li
Dachang, former vice governor of southwest Sichuan Province, who was sentenced
to seven-years in prison for power abuse.
Courts across the country in
2006 also tried and concluded 31,582 cases involving the manufacture,
trafficking and sale of narcotics, sentencing 37,256 criminals convicted in such
In the area of intellectual property rights protection, Xiao said
that Chinese courts concluded 17,769 cases involving intellectual property
rights infringement in 2006, with 3,508 people convicted and sentenced.
"Among all criminals convicted in 2006, 153,724 received sentences from
five years and above in prison to life imprisonment and death penalty," he told
the nearly 3,000 lawmakers attending the annual full session of the National
Xiao said that Chinese courts at all levels, in their
efforts to respect and safeguard human rights, pronounced 1,713 criminal
defendants innocent in 2006, following the principle of meting out penalty to
the guilty and setting the innocent free in time in accordance with the law.
Experiment on granting relief fund to victims of criminal cases and
their relatives went on smoothly, he said.
Statistics from the 10 higher
people's courts carrying out the pilot program showed they in total issued 7.80
million yuan in the relief fund to 378 victims of criminal cases and their
relatives in 2006.
One of the major developments in the field of human
rights protection lies in the reform of the mechanism to decide on death
Xiao said the supreme court took back the power to review and
ratify all death penalty cases as of January 1, 2007, ending a 26- year practice
of letting courts at lower levels decide on part of such cases.
lawsuits affordable to all people, Chinese courts have provided timely judicial
assistance to litigants with financial difficulties, Xiao said.
result, 282,582 people were allowed to delay or reduce the payment of court
costs, or even totally exempted from the costs in 2006, with a total of 1.2
billion yuan spared for them, he noted.
The top judge also reported a
4.71 percent drop in the number of letters, visits and calls of complaints and
petitions the supreme court received from the general public in 2006 compared to
the previous year. The supreme court received 140,511 such letters, visits and
calls in the year.
Meanwhile, local courts across the country received
3,548,504 such letters, visits and calls, a decrease of 11.18 percent year on
The supreme court also intensified its efforts to fight corruption
among judges and promote judicial justice, said the top judge.
of 292 judges were found to have abused power for personal interests in 2006,
and 109 of them were given criminal penalty according to law," he said.
In 2006, Chinese courts at all levels handled 7,375 maritime cases
involving 4.445 billion yuan, giving equal protection to the legitimate rights
and interests of Chinese and foreign nationals involved, said the SPC president.
The courts also concluded 23,313 cases involving foreign nationals and
residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan in 2006, an increase of 16.39 percent
year on year, he added.
Apart from the courts' achievements, the top
judge also raked up problems pestering the country's judicial work, such as
unfair judgment and failure in providing timely protection to the legitimate
rights and interests of some litigants who had won their lawsuits.
attributed the problems to the poor capability of some judges, a lack of
professional ethics among some others, and the " malpractice of a small handful
of judges and senior court officials".
"We will take even stronger
measures to make improvement" and " guarantee the power of judgment is exercised
correctly", said Xiao, adding that the supreme court will strive to ensure the
legitimate rights and interests of all litigants are well protected and the
professional quality of Chinese judges as a whole improved substantially.