China / Government

Corruption threshold raised by new judicial interpretation

By Cao Yin ( Updated: 2016-04-18 15:20

A higher legal threshold of 30,000 yuan ($4,629) has been set for bribery and embezzlement cases under a new judicial interpretation issued on Monday.

This sum will be recognized as a "relatively large amount", according to the document published by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, replacing the previous threshold of 5,000 yuan.

Pei Xianding, chief judge of the top court's criminal tribunal, cautioned that those engaged in lower level corruption will still be punished.

"People who are corrupt, accept bribes several times or provide benefits for the promotion of others will be still be given punishments," Pei said.

"Those who refuse to return illicitly obtained money, have been sentenced on other charges or have received disciplinary punishments for embezzlement or bribery will be also punished, even if the money involved equals less than 30,000 yuan."

The new interpretation further redefines sums ranging from 200,000 to 3 million yuan as a "huge amount" and anything over 3 million yuan as "extremely huge" in terms of corruption.

Pei said the changes reflect both Chinese economic developments and legal precedent, but added that the country's fight against corruption remains strong.

In addition, the interpretation clarifies that convicts sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve or life imprisonment for corruption will not be eligible for commutation or parole.

In the past, corrupt officials given a suspended death sentence would have it commuted to life imprisonment if they did not commit any other crimes during a two-year probation period. Sentences were also reduced for good behavior.

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