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China Investigates 485 Police for Power Abuse

The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) intensified its crackdown on power abusing officials and is investigating 485 corrupt policemen, China's top prosecutor Jia Chunwang said Tuesday.

In a report on China's prosecuting work to the country's top legislature, Jia said the SPP made a sweeping investigation during the past 18 months on how police officers deal with the funds they confiscated when investigating other official's job-related crimes, on if police officers intervened economic disputes which were out of their duty and on if there were some cases, which had enough evidence to be prosecuted, failed to be prosecuted.

By the end of this August, the SPP had investigated more than 1.5 billion yuan (US$ 180 million) of frozen funds and found 11.35 million yuan (US$1.4 million) of them were unlawfully used by police officers.

Jia said in his report that the prosecuting team is not qualified. He said some prosecutors and police officers were rude, some committed crimes themselves. Even though the police were supposed to be enforcing the law, some violated the legitimate rights of litigants by doing unjust law enforcement.

The number of prosecutors could not meet the demand, causing some cases to not be investigated and prosecuted on time, Jia noted. Also some grassroots prosecutors lacked funds to investigate cases.

He said the SPP will strengthen its efforts to improve prosecutor law enforcement ability and ensure more funds for grassroots prosecutors.

China now has 3,222 grassroots procuratorates with a total of 159,193 prosecutors working in grassroots procuratorates.

From January to August, China's procuratorates at all levels arrested 539,210 suspects, 538,110 of them were under public prosecution, up 5.4 percent and 8.1 percent from the same period last year.

In 2003 alone, China's procuratorates at all levels released a total of 25,736 detainees who suffered illegally-prolonged custody, said Jia.

(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2004)

Public Order Legislation Reviewed
Over 6,000 Officials Investigated for Power Abuse
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Authorities Move to Improve Legal System
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