Legal loopholes stopped to combat corruption

Updated: 2007-07-08 21:39

China's top judiciaries on Sunday issued a document targeting "new forms of corruption" in an effort to catch up with the tricks of wily, corrupt officials, following the regulation issued by China's disciplinary watchdog in June.

The document, co-issued by the Supreme People's Court (SPC) and the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), set a clear definition of new types of bribe-taking activities.

Major new types of bribe-taking activities include illegally receiving stocks and shares as gifts, buying commodities such as houses or automobiles at ridiculously low prices from those who ask them for favors, receiving bribes through gambling or cooperating with others to operate companies, according to the document.

The officials who take advantage of their posts to make profits for others but receive money or gifts after their tenures, and who seek profits through family members, relatives or specially-related persons should also be severely punished as bribe takers, the document said.

In some circumstances, an official may not be the owner of the bribe, but he or she can still be convicted of bribery because the intention of the briber is clear, the document read.

The document also said people who help officials covertly secure bribes will be punished as "collaborators"and other people who help in obtaining bribes are also defined as "collaborators".

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China issued a regulation targeting the same forms of official corruption that took effect on May 30.

Xia Zanzhong, deputy secretary of the CCDI said official corruption cases have been more and more concealed in recent years, while current laws and regulations have no clear and relevant provisions.

Therefore, the newly issued document and the CCDI regulation were hailed by law experts as "a well-cooperated step of intra-Party discipline and judicial system" to fight against "more sophisticated power-for-money crimes".

The judicial explanation said "officials who return the money or gifts they had received in time won't be charged as bribe taking", however, "it will make no difference to the graft charges if they return the money or gifts during investigation over themselves or related people."

The document cannot cover all new types of official corruption cases and courts and procuratorates at all levels should stick to the principle that any activity of trading power for money should be taken as bribe taking, according to the SPC and SPP.

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