China widens net to stifle corruption

Updated: 2007-06-20 14:06

BEIJING - The number of officials investigated for abuse of power in China has risen by nearly 10 percent so far this year as part of a drive to rein in corruption, Chinese media reported on Wednesday.

The Beijing Youth Daily said that anti-corruption investigators probed 3,470 government officials involved in 2,808 cases of abuse of office in the first five months of 2007. Nearly half the cases involved serious abuses of office.

The crackdown comes as President Hu Jintao seeks to root out corruption by decrying government extravagance and abuses.

"In 2007, apart from problems which drew strong public reaction such as food and drug safety, hygiene, damage to land resources and the environment, investigating authorities also gave priority to the trend of frequent major safety accidents," the paper quoted Chen Lianfu, a senior prosecutor, as saying.

More than 800 police and judicial officials had been probed this year for abuses of power, including illegal detention, torturing of detainees and "lax law enforcement", Chen said.

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