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Procuratorates to be Monitored

The Supreme People's Procuratorate has initiated a pilot mechanism, which allows inviting common people as supervisors to oversee occupational offence cases that are directly accepted and handled by procuratorial organs.


These cases include corruption, bribery, breaches of citizens' democratic rights and misconduct in office.


The idea of using supervisors is the result of recommendations from governmental institutions, social organizations and enterprises, said Zhang Zhongfang, spokesman of the Supreme People's Procuratorate.


He said these supervisors will have a voice in decisions on whether to place cases on file for investigation and whether or not to initiate prosecution.


The supervisors can express their views on what they see as improper or illegal actions of procuratorial staff and can participate in the investigation of cases, Zhang added.


So far, 10 provinces around China have set up pilot people's supervisor mechanisms, the process starting in September this year, and around 3,000 common people have been recommended for the first group of supervisors.


Zhang said the initiation of the supervisory mechanism was a major reform taken by the highest procuratorial organ in response to the dissatisfaction of many people with the settlement of several occupational offence cases because of the lack of outside supervision.


Under the trial mechanism, if the investigation department of a procuratorial organ makes a decision not to place a case on file for investigation, or the prosecution department decides not to initiate prosecution of a case, the two departments should hand in related documents to supervisors for review.


Then the supervisors, usually three to nine on a single case, will present their opinion on the issue after deliberation.


If their opinion is different from that of the porcuratorial organ, the supervisors can ask the upper level procuratorial organ to submit a judgment.


(China Daily October 30, 2003)


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