Graft fight given a sharper focus

Updated: 2015-03-13 09:38

By Zhang Yan(China Daily)

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New agency will investigate cases at highest levels

National prosecuting departments will attach great importance to investigating corruption among government authorities and high-ranking officials in key positions, a senior official of the Supreme People's Procuratorate said on Thursday.

"We will concentrate on investigating corruption in those areas with intensive flow of capital and rich resources, including engineering projects, development of mineral resources, land transferring and restructuring of State-owned enterprises," Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the SPP, said when giving the SPP's annual work report.

He said national prosecutors will also be more aggressive in going after those who offer bribes to corrupt officials, while seriously investigating graft cases during the process of selecting and promoting officials to key positions.

In order to cope with corruption, the SPP will set up a new anti-graft agency to focus on investigating major cases involving officials at provincial and ministerial level or above.

Since November 2012, when the new leadership was elected, anti-corruption has become a top priority for the country. President Xi Jinping has vowed to use strong measures to fight corruption among high-ranking "tigers" as well as low-level "flies".

Cao said, "We have enhanced attacking and seriously investigating the officials involved in duty-related crimes."

According to the SPP, national prosecuting departments investigated 55,101 officials last year for duty-related crimes, involving 41,487 cases, a year-on-year increase of 7.4 percent.

Of those, national prosecutors investigated 4,040 corrupt officials at county level or above, including 589 senior officials and 28 high-ranking "tigers" - such as Zhou Yongkang, former security chief, and Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission - an increase of 40.7 percent compared with 2013.

In addition, they stepped up attacks on crimes involving bribery. Last year, national prosecutors investigated 7,827 suspects accused of bribing officials to seek benefits, an increase of 37.9 percent, according to the SPP.

Prosecutors also have strengthened efforts to capture Chinese fugitives who escaped abroad, so that they will face trial, Cao said.

Since October, when the SPP initiated a special action to target suspects accused of duty-related crimes, national prosecuting departments have captured 749 fugitives at home and abroad, according to the SPP. "We will enhance law enforcement cooperation with relevant countries, including the US and Canada, with views to intelligence sharing and case investigation to repatriate more Chinese fugitives to stand trial," Cao said.

Moreover, with solid evidence in hand, prosecutors will start legal procedures to confiscate the fugitives' ill-gotten funds, even if they flee overseas to cut off economic channels, he said.

"Due to complexity and intractableness, we will conduct a persistent campaign to combat corruption," Cao said. "No matter who is involved, we will conduct a thorough investigation, without leniency."