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Officials Ignored Milk Powder Complaints

Prosecutors are investigating possible malfeasance by two local officials who are alleged to have known that milk powder being sold in Fuyang, east China’s Anhui Province, was substandard.


Li Tingjun and Bai Qixiang, both deputy directors of the local Bureau of Industry and Commerce, are suspected of irregular conduct to serve personal interests in not referring the case to the local prosecutors’ office for a complete investigation.


The Criminal Code states that law enforcement administrators such as Li and Bai may be punished if they fail to refer suspected crimes found by investigators during the law enforcement process.


The two were “seriously irresponsible” when they received tips from local residents, especially when the mother of one of the victimized babies reported the results of tests conducted on the milk powder directly to them, said Chen Lianfu, director-general of the Prosecutorial Department for Dereliction of Duty and Infringement of Citizens’ Rights under the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.


Wang Zhenchuan, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate--the highest authority for public prosecutors in China--yesterday quoted the investigation of the case as an example of intensified efforts to crack down on job-related crimes that violate human rights.


The campaign focuses on cases of illegal detention, unlawful search, using torture or violence to coerce a statement, infringing upon citizens’ democratic rights through undermining elections and when mistreatment by authorities while in custody.


The Supreme People’s Court yesterday also launched a national educational campaign on judicial fairness among People’s Courts at all levels.


The campaign’s goal is to establish judicial authority and the image of fair, incorruptible judges, said Cao Jianming, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court.


(China Daily May 27, 2004)

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Minister Vows to Speed up Judiciary Reform
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