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4,000 corrupt officials fleed with US$50b
Updated: 2005-08-11 11:37

Chinese law experts on Wednesday said judicial reform, including death penalty exemption, may help bring back more fugitive corrupt officials.

A report issued by the Ministry of Commerce showed that in recent years, nearly 4,000 corrupt officials fled overseas with approximately 50 billion US dollars of illicit money.

Chu Huaizhi, law professor with Peking University said in an interview with Xinhua prior to the 22nd Congress on the Law of theWorld that China has signed extradition treaties with more than 20countries and judicial assistance treaties with dozens of countries. However, China has not signed such treaties with countries where corrupt officials often go to, such as the United States, Japan and Canada.

Some countries hesitated to sign extradition treaties with China, partially because Chinese courts can give death penalties to nonviolent crimes offenders, such as corrupt officials, he said.

If corrupt officials were free from the death penalty, Western countries might cooperate with China to extradite fugitive corruptofficials, or they would not flee in the first place, he said.

However, Chinese citizens have traditionally been unkind towardcorruption. They often voice their hatred of notorious corrupt officials online, asking governments and courts to stringently punish them. In addition, they say the ruling party and the central government need resolute methods to keep the government clean.

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