Procurator-General on Battle Against Corruption

Han Zhubin, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), said in Beijing Saturday that China's procuratorates at various levels put on file for investigation and prosecution 45,113 cases in connection with corruption last year, retrieving over 4.7 billion yuan (US$566 million) of direct economic loss.

Reporting the work of the SPP to the on-going fourth session of the Ninth National People's Congress, Han said SPP focused efforts on investigations of major cases involving officials of county-level and above and cases that involve huge amounts of money and have grave consequences.

Han said that last year, the SPP investigated and prosecuted 18, 086 embezzlement and bribery cases each with an amount of more than 50,000 yuan, including 1,335 cases each involving more than 1 million yuan (US$120,000). Also investigated and prosecuted on charges of work-related crimes were 2,680 county- or division-level officials, 184 departmental- or bureau-level officials and seven officials at the provincial level and above.

The handling of the case of Cheng Kejie, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, gave an effective terrifying and deterrent effect on crimes and demonstrated the firm determination of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and the government to fight against and punish corruption, Han said.

Statistics from the Supreme People's Courts show that Chinese courts in all places sentenced 17,931 criminals in connection with graft and taking bribes, including three public servants of provincial-level and above, 52 public servants of prefectural or departmental level and 350 public servants at the county level, he said.

The SPP investigated and prosecuted 169 government functionaries involved in the extra-ordinary Xiamen smuggling ring.

The SPP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Security, launched a drive to hunt down fleeing suspects of embezzlement, taking bribes or apportioning of public funds toward the end of last year, Han said. So far, 300 such suspects have been caught in the net of justice.

Han noted that procuratorates made greater efforts to deal with bribery, investigating and prosecuting 1,367 such cases, 28 percent more than in the preceding year.

In addition, Han said, the procuratorates investigated and prosecuted 7,930 cases of dereliction of public duty and " infringement of rights", 45 percent more than in the previous year. They included 3,360 cases connected with deception for personal gains, such as refusing to levy or under-levying taxes and allowing smuggling and manufacturing of fake and shoddy goods to run their courses, and 1,793 cases involving the encroachment upon the right of person and democratic rights.

Also investigated and prosecuted last year were 18,874 suspects on charges of appropriating, secretly dividing up or misusing state property in the course of conversion of state-owned enterprises into companies and more than 300 cases in connection with the management of key construction projects, ecological protection projects and anti-poverty and relief materials and money.

(People's Daily 03/10/2001)