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China to Launch Further Campaign to Stamp Out Official Corruption
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China will start a month-long campaign on Thursday to publicly shame officials for dereliction of duty and abuse of power.

"We will use the campaign as an opportunity to strengthen ties with the media to fight dereliction and power abuse by officials. We will try to find clues from media reporting on official corruption and launch investigations accordingly," said Tong Jianming, spokesman of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Wednesday.

Over the course of the month, prosecuting organs will publicize findings of the investigations and ways in which the public can report official corruption, he said.

From January 2003 to March 2007, China's prosecuting organs prosecuted 18,200 officials for dereliction of duty or abusing their position. Of these, 12,392 were convicted.

Wang Zhenchuan, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said dereliction by officials had resulted in 35.73 billion yuan of direct economic losses since 2003.

Listing examples of official corruption, he said that Yi Youde, vice mayor of Loudi City, Hunan Province, had squandered 82 million yuan of the local citizens' housing fund due to abuse of power.

Mou Zhibo and Chen Hongxin, both officials in charge of real estate management in Kuandian county, Liaoning Province, illegally granted permission to demolish housing to corrupt businessmen and caused more than 13 million yuan in economic losses.

In Huai'an City, Jiangsu Province, an agriculture official turned a blind eye to the sale of fake fertilizer and wiped out hectares of crops.

"Negligence and power abuse also widely exist among judicial staff. Some judicial workers infringe litigants' legal rights by fabricating evidence and distorting facts," Wang said.

A few judicial staff have acted as "protective shields" for criminal gangs and some judicial workers have even directly participated in criminal activities, he said

"All the wrongdoing has had a vile social impact," Wang said. "The phenomena of extracting confession through torture and illegal detention still exist, causing a baneful social effect," Wang added.

(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2007)

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