Three of five senior judicial officials arrested on corruption charges last year have been jailed.
Deng Lianji, president of Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, disclosed the news when making an annual report to the ongoing Shenzhen People's Congress on Friday. But he did not give more details about the case.
He said the corruption cases of the officials, including a vice-president, had seriously damaged the court's reputation in the eyes of the public.
The court has since undertaken measures to ensure such incidents do not re-occur by launching an anti-corruption and discipline campaign.
Investigators began probing the activities of the judges in May last year after the police received a tip-off.
The investigators said they found Liao Zhaohui, a retired judge, had accepted bribes when he was serving in the execution division.
Two division presidents, Cai Xiaoling and Zhang Tinghua, were also found to have looked after personal interests by appointing auction houses to deal with seized assets in bankruptcy cases.
Liao was arrested on June 9. Cai was arrested on June 19, and Zhang on June 20.
Meanwhile, Pei Hongquan, vice-president of Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court, was arrested on September 28, while Li Huili, Pei's ex-wife and a director of the execution division, was arrested on September 27.
Preliminary evidence collected by the procuratorate body showed the two suspects had accepted bribes while working at the court.
The court has since tightened its management of bankruptcy cases, according to some insiders.
Apart from establishing a complete list of lawyers and accountants for settlements, the court would also select receivers at random.
While professional behaviour of judges in Shenzhen should be further improved, Deng said judges were working under great pressure because of staff shortages.
The number of judges in Shenzhen only accounts for 8 per cent of that in Guangdong Province, but they handled nearly 20 per cent of the cases, he said. The frontline judges settled some 222 cases on average last year.
"As a result of the economic and social improvement of the city, we can forecast that more cases would be brought to the court," Deng said.
(China Daily March 24, 2007)