Meddlers in court cases to be named
New rules aim to eliminate interference by govt officials, clamp down on ethics violations
Officials who intervene when a case is being investigated or reviewed will be recorded and investigated, under new procedures at Shanghai's top prosecuting agency.
The procedures, which took effect on Jan 1, were explained at a media briefing on Thursday.
"The official's name as well as when and how he or she inquires about or interferes in a case will all be put on record," said Zeng Guodong, director of the research office of the Shanghai People's Procuratorate.
Those recorded will find their names on a notice of criticism that is circulated in judicial departments.
"A secretary of a prosecutor in the district procuratorate of Pudong New Area who pried into a case earlier this month was recorded and got a warning," said Jun Peihua, deputy chief prosecutor of the Shanghai People's Procuratorate.
"It's an effort to maximally root out the incidence of anybody who uses a 'relationship' to influence the outcome of a case and protect the prosecutors who perform their duties according to law," he said.
The new rules make clear that prosecutors who make significant errors in handling a case or seriously violate professional ethics will face a negative evaluation of their judicial responsibilities.
A panel of nine experts, including the head of the department that deals with the case, officials from the discipline inspection authority, deputies to the lawmaking body and professors of law and prosecution from universities and institutions, will decide by secret ballot whether the prosecutor should be held accountable.
The provisions also speculated that the chief prosecutor and deputies must participate more in the front line of investigating and reviewing the cases, especially the major cases that have a significant impact in the city or the country.
They should also take the lead in handling complex cases that are the first of their kind and those that may be instructive in the application of law and the use of evidence, under the new rules.
"The provisions are expected to boost the prosecutors' sense of responsibility in dealing with every single case and safeguard their independence and authority," Jun said.