China / Politics

Policies aim to curb judicial corruption

By Zhang Yan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-14 07:36

The Ministry of Justice announced measures to fight judicial corruption, especially regarding reduced sentences, probation and noncustodial sentences.

The measures will "effectively curb correctional officers' misconduct and corruption involving bribery", said Vice-Minister of Justice Zhang Sujun.

The move follows a case in February when the Supreme People's Procuratorate started extradition procedures against Zhang Hai, former president of beverage maker Jianlibao Group.

He was suspected of offering bribes to prison officers to obtain an early release from jail and then went overseas with his girlfriend.

Zhang had been convicted of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds and sentenced to 15 years by Foshan Intermediate People's Court in Guangdong in 2007.

The top prosecuting department said Zhang's 15-year jail term had been reduced several times before he was freed in 2011.

Prosecutors investigated 24 suspects for dereliction of duty, including 14 correctional officers and one court judge, for allegedly helping Zhang get his sentence reduced.

"We will strengthen supervision for application and approval procedures involving reduced sentences and conditional release," the vice-minister said.

Figures provided by the ministry show that between 2008 to 2013, national prison departments dealt with 506,000 applications for sentence reduction and 36,000 parole applications.

Zhang said they will pay particular attention to sentence-reduction applications for cases involving taking advantage of one's position, financial fraud and organizing criminal gangs.

To tackle corruption in prisons, he said, justice departments will boost procedural supervision and enhance prison security.

Hong Daode, a professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said the measures are essential to "preventing malpractice and bribery, and conducive to ensuring fairness and enhancing the credibility of law enforcement". 


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