Opinion / Opinion Line

Conflicts of interest must be avoided in investigations

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-16 08:15

Conflicts of interest must be avoided in investigations

Guo Meimei, at the center of a charity scandal, says she made a huge mistake.

HAN MIAO, a prosecutor from Qing'an in Heilongjiang province, Northeast China, reportedly spent a night in the same hotel room with a woman who was not his wife. His superiors responded that the two did not have sex and just slept with their clothes on. A third-party investigation is needed to make the investigation convincing, says a Beijing Times comment:

Does the public trust what the prosecutor's superiors said? Just look at a popular micro blog: "That's a serious joke and we cannot help laughing."

Obviously, the public does not believe what Han's leaders told them. That's not because they do not trust the authorities, it is because those who conducted the investigation into the incident have a conflict of interest with the probe.

At a time when so many officials are involved in sex scandals, the investigators need to provide ample evidence for their counterintuitive conclusion. However, they have not given any support for their claim. In their press release, Han's leaders have not explained how they know what Han and the woman did in the room.

This incident should also be a reminder to other authorities, that they cannot afford to tell lies to the public and they need to make sure their claims are supported by corroborative evidence or witnesses. In this instance, a third-party investigation needs to be conducted to avoid any conflict of interest. That Han's immediate superiors have involved themselves in the investigation into his conduct will of course put the fairness of the investigation in question.

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