Chief justice expresses self-reproach for wrongful convictions
Updated: 2015-03-12 09:42
Following are highlights of Zhou's report:
What to do in 2015
-- The SPC will put up a serious fight against crimes harming national security and social stability, including terrorism and illegal cults.
-- The SPC will step up the efforts against corruption and maintain a zero-tolerance policy on embezzlement, bribery and breach of duty.
-- The SPC will properly handle disputes occurring in business spheres, including international trades, intellectual properties, Internet finance, maritime economy and rural land reform, to promote the “new normal" for China's economic development.
--The SPC will improve its information sharing platform, to make public its trial procedures, written judgments and enforcement information.
--The SPC will make it more convenient and efficient for people to seek legal services for court decisions, and resolutely prevent and correct wrongful convictions. SPC will strengthen legal aid for state compensation, to guarantee that people can exercise their rights to claim compensation according to law.
Work in 2014
Terrorism, separatism up 15%
Chinese courts handled 558 cases related to separatism and terrorism, an increase of 14.8% year-on-year.
A total of 712 criminals involved in these cases, including the case in which a jeep crashed into people in Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on Oct 28, and the terrorist attack in a railway station in Kunming, were convicted and punished, a rise of 13.3% year-on-year.
Court acquits, rectifies mistakes
In 2014, courts acquitted 518 defendants of public prosecution and 260 defendants of private prosecution. Moreover, there were 1,317 revisions of criminal cases to rectify past mistakes.
One of the high-profile wrongful convictions was a rape-murder case in 1996 by an Inner Mongolian court, in which an 18-year-old man named Huugjilt was convicted and executed. And 18 years later in December 2014, he was acquitted of the crimes.
According to the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), prosecutors probed 3,664 cases of graft, bribery and embezzlement of public funds involving more than 1 million yuan ($164,000 ) last year. A total of 4,040 public servants at county level and above, including 589 at city level, were investigated.
A total of 55,101 people were investigated for duty-related crimes in 41,487 cases, an annual increase of 7.4 percent in the number of people, according to the report.
Prosecutors handled serious cases of 28 officials at and above provincial or ministerial levels, including Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou in accordance with the law last year, according to the report.
In addition, 7,827 bribers were prosecuted for criminal offenses, up 37.9 percent from the previous year.
The work report of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) showed that Chinese courts in 2014 convicted and punished 44,000 criminals in 31,000 cases of embezzlement and bribery, including severe cases such as Liu Tienan and Li Daqiu.
A total of 2,394 people were convicted for offering bribes last year, up 12.1 percent from the previous year.