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Exam 'cheats' sue ministry
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-10 06:05

The Ministry of Justice has been taken to court by four workers from Northeast China's Jilin Province who were punished for alleged cheating in the national judicial examination.

The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court yesterday heard the case put forward by one of them, Sun Zhenguo, a 35-year-old policeman from the city of Baishan.

He believes that the punishment handed out by the ministry was unfounded and asked the department to withdraw its decision.

The other three lawsuits against the ministry will be heard from today to Thursday, court sources said.

The four plaintiffs, who all took the National Judicial Examination last September, were said by the ministry to have violated exam rules because their papers were 95 per cent the same.

Their examination results were cancelled and they were forbidden to take part in another exam for two years.

As the National Judicial Examination is the only way to acquire professional qualifications for judges, prosecutors and lawyers in China, the ban will affect their careers, sources said.

Sun took part in the examination because of a personal interest, the other three plaintiffs are all court workers.

"My legal rights have been damaged by the ministry's decision," Sun said yesterday.

"The ministry has no evidence to prove my alleged cheating in the exam except for the similarity of our papers," he claimed.

"I did not cheat in the examination," the policeman insisted.

Sources with the ministry said yesterday in court that the punishment was in line with a ministry rule dealing with discipline violations in the national examination.

"Although we did not provide proof of their cheating, the identical papers are the reason why we cancelled their examination marks and forbade them to take the examination for two years," a lawyer representing the ministry said yesterday at court.

"It is like the crime of holding a huge amount of property from unidentified sources. Evidence on how the suspect got the property is not a must for the court to pass sentence," the lawyer said.

(China Daily 05/10/2005 page3)

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