Judges, courts are held to account

Updated: 2016-02-03 08:17

By Zhang Yan(China Daily)

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Prosecutors pay special attention to handling, allocation of funds and property confiscated from defendants

Efforts to stem judicial corruption and prevent miscarriages of justice have been stepped up by the nation's prosecutors, the top prosecuting body said on Tuesday.

According to Supreme People's Procuratorate statistics, national prosecuting departments protested 13,182 rulings in civil cases between 2013 and last year, issuing 17,843 suggestions for improvement.

Over the same time period, 52,814 comments on the conduct of trial judges were also made by prosecutors.

Such enhanced supervision shows that prosecutors have "performed their duty" to protest or issue suggestions about "mistaken verdicts and mediations", said Xiao Wei, spokeswoman for the SPP.

"If judges are found to be breaking the law, we issue suggestions in order for them to correct their behavior and if signs of criminal intent are found, the relevant judge is placed under investigation," she said.

Cases involving people's livelihoods, environmental protection, food and drug safety, traffic accidents and the loss of State-owned assets were all priorities for supervision, according to Lyu Hongtao, deputy director at the SPP's Civil and Administration Supervision Department.

Judges, courts are held to account

More focus was also being paid to civil cases involving false claims, lending disputes, real estate ownership and the management of confiscated assets, Lyu said.

"We have attached special importance to supervising the courts' handling and allocation of funds and property confiscated from defendants," he said.

Since 2013, 578 such cases have been investigated by prosecuting departments, Lyu said, with unnecessary delays identified in 23 provinces' courts and outright corruption or embezzlement uncovered in another 17 provinces and regions.

A typical case involved a police officer surnamed Mao, who was found guilty of embezzling 1.85 million yuan ($281,170) of public funds and sentenced to five years imprisonment by a court in Yumen, Gansu province in July 2014.

He had transferred the money to his personal bank account between October 2010 and May 2012 while supposedly investigating a series of outstanding loans, the court heard.

The city's procuratorate issued a statement to the court, urging it to enhance education of police and judges and handle seized assets more carefully.

Lyu said his department will further safeguard justice by encouraging whistleblowers and strengthening its supervision of the courts.


(China Daily 02/03/2016 page4)