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Nation vows to escalate war on bribery
( 2002-03-12 09:43 ) (3 )

Prosecutors across China investigated more than 36,000 corruption cases last year involving more than 40,000 people.

These probes helped recover economic losses valued at more than 4.1 billion yuan (US$495 million), said China's top prosecutor.

Chief Procurator Han Zhubin of the Supreme People's Procuratorate vowed Monday to strike harder against corruption across the country - stepping up crackdowns against graft, bribery and malpractice to help establish clean local governments.

Han also pledged to step up the war against organized crime and cult activities.

And he said greater efforts would be made to regulate market order to ensure national security, economic safety and social stability.

He made the remarks Monday while reporting to 2,731 deputies attending the Fifth Session of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislative body.

Top Chinese leaders attended the meeting in the Great Hall of the People.

Among corruption cases cracked last year, those involving more than 1 million yuan (US$120,000) reached 1,319, involving 9,452 staff working in government departments and judicial departments.

Of these employees, a total of 2,670 were officials at county level and higher, and six officials were at provincial and ministerial level, including Li Jiating, former governor of Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

He said the procuratorates will focus on cracking down on activities which destroy economic order, such as the manufacturing and selling of fake products, tax evasion, financial fraud, smuggling and pyramid selling.

"We will also strengthen supervision on criminal proceedings, civil adjudication and administrative proceedings... to make progress in safeguarding judicial fairness," said Han.

Following China's accession to the World Trade Organization, Han said procuratorates will conduct their work according to open, transparent and non-discriminate principles.

They will expand international exchanges and judicial co-operation with their overseas counterparts to strike against transnational organized crimes, according to Han.

In his report, Han said the people's procuratorates have increased the protection of human rights by providing judicial guarantees.

NPC deputies will examine Han's reports this week before voting on it when the session concludes on Friday.

Many deputies recognized the progress made by procuratorates in the past year but also showed concerns on their shortcomings.

"Generally speaking, Han's report describes the true picture of procuratorates' work at all levels, and some problems could not be neglected," said NPC deputy Hou Jianwei from East China's Jiangsu Province.

Injustice committed by, and corruption existing in, procuratorates cannot be completely wiped out until substantial reform is carried out, said Hou.

Although some problems are not dominant, they do have a big influence on people's impression of law-enforcement bodies, such as procuratorates.

Hou suggested setting up a special body affiliated with the NPC Standing Committee to assist the reform of judicial and procuratorate sectors.



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