China / Government

Life term, no parole given now for graft

By Cao Yin (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-19 03:10

Zhou Guangquan, a criminal law professor at Tsinghua University, said: "The new sentence is an alternative form of death penalty for corruption, and it must be enforced unconditionally. Defendants given such a penalty will not be released or have their sentence commuted."

The new interpretation also raises the threshold of corruption cases to 30,000 yuan ($4,630), "because the 5,000 yuan standard in the 1997 version could not keep pace with economic development," said Chen Xingliang, a law professor at Peking University.

But Miao Youshui, deputy chief judge of the criminal tribunal, said that those engaged in a small amount of bribes will still be punished if they refuse to return illicitly obtained money, have been sentenced on other charges or have been given disciplinary punishment for embezzlement or bribery.

In addition, the definition of property in corruption cases has been extended, Miao said. "For example, house decoration, paying debts or trips will also be defined as bribery," he added.

The new interpretation is intended to give judges and prosecutors more teeth in their fight against corruption.

From 2013 to last year, China's courts accepted 81,805 cases of corruption, of which 69,017 were concluded, according to the top court.

Prosecutors dealt with 4,490 cases involving 1 million yuan or more in corruption, bribery and embezzlement last year, and they also began investigating several ministerial-level officials, including Ling Jihua, former head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee.

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