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Prosecutor: Bribe-givers to be blacklisted
By Sun Shangwu (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-03 05:45

Bribe-givers in China will be named in a public blacklist from next year, a move experts say will strengthen the fight against corruption.

Provincial-level procuratorates will make bribery files available for public access by the end of the year and the system will be linked nationwide at the beginning of next year, the Procuratorial Daily reported yesterday.

On the blacklist will be individuals and units who have offered bribes from 1997 in such sectors as construction, finance, education, medical and government procurement.

Wang Zhenchuan, vice-procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said that the measure is important for "bringing all social forces into full play" to prevent corruption.

It will also have a positive impact on healthy economic and social development, and strengthen legal supervision, according to Wang.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate, in collaboration with some government departments, introduced a pilot project in some provinces last year and the results are encouraging. For example, in Sichuan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, construction contractors who were put on the blacklist were barred from bidding for new projects.

According to the Criminal Law, those offering or accepting bribes are subject to punishment: the maximum penalty for a bribe-taker is the death sentence, and a life term for people offering bribes.

But in reality, punishment for bribe-takers is usually much heavier, according to Chen Xingliang, a law professor at Peking University, because prosecutors depend on co-operation from bribe-givers in investigations.

He added that the new move can only play a supplementary role because eradication of corruption depends on management reform in many sectors, such as increasing openness and transparency of economic activities.

In 2000, procuratorate bodies charged 1,298 people with offering bribes while the number last year was 1,952.

Last week, the National People's Congress ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which deems offering bribes or "undue advantages" to public officials as "criminal offences."

(China Daily 11/03/2005 page1)

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