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Prosecutor: Big graft cases increase
By Cao Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-09 08:27

More than 20,000 corruption cases were investigated in the first six months of this year, a senior official confirmed at a meeting of chief prosecutors from around China.

Procurator-General of the Supreme People's Procuratorate Jia Chunwang said 24,247 people were being questioned for 21,164 'job-related criminal cases,' about 4 per cent involving more than 1 million yuan (US$120,000) in bribes.

He said 713 cases involved 1 million yuan (US$ 120,000) or above, up 6.9 per cent over the same period last year.

Some 1,690 of those under investigation were officials of county magistrate or higher levels, he said.

Since the beginning of the year, procuratorates at various levels have tightened up legal supervision, which has had results, Jia said.

Corruption has been brought under the spotlight once again with a chief discipline inspector in Central China's Hunan Province being linked to economic crimes last month.

The case, involving Luo Ziguang, secretary of the Loudi Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC (Communist Party of China), is being seen as a signal that corruption has entered the supervising system itself.

Shao Daosheng, a special researcher of the Central Commission for the Discipline Inspection of the CPC, said the country's anti-corruption departments and the Party's discipline inspection branches had become major targets for investigation.

In another case, the Beijing High People's Court rejected an appeal from a provincial official who was charged with taking bribes last week.

The court held up the first ruling to convict Liu Fangren - the Party secretary of Guizhou Province in Southwest China.

The court said Liu had misused his power to seek illegal benefit and committed the crime of bribery.

Court investigations found Liu had taken bribes on 22 separate occasions totalling 6.77 million yuan (US$ 820,000) between March 1995 and February 2002.

All the cash was pocketed when he was secretary of the CPC Guizhou Provincial Committee and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the Guizhou Provincial People's Congress.

Jia called for more effort to build clean and just procuratorial forces and improve their quality.

He also said effective measures should be taken to set up a restraint mechanism among procuratorial officials between the upper and lower levels as well as among procurators and officials in other government departments.

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