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Prosecutors told to focus on cybercrime

By Yang Zekun | China Daily | Updated: 2021-01-12 08:52
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SPP official seeks stronger punishment for those who commit such offenses

Procuratorial work should focus on prominent issues affecting national security, social stability and people's tranquillity and promote the building of a higher-level Peaceful China initiative, said Zhang Jun, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Sunday.

Zhang also called for more severe punishment for cybercrimes and lowering citizen's costs of protecting their legitimate rights. He made the remarks at a national procuration conference held in Beijing.

While talking about the handling of a slander case last year, Zhang called for stronger penalties for cybercriminals.

The majority of such cases involve ordinary people, and each case is a big deal for the people involved and their families. Therefore, procuratorial organs at all levels must take various factors into consideration so that the people can truly feel they have gotten justice in every case, Zhang said.

The slander case Zhang discussed involved two men in Yuhang district of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, who secretly recorded a video of a woman when she was accepting a package in July. The men made fake chat records describing her as a rich, beautiful married woman who was having an affair with a delivery man. They posted the made-up content online, resulting in the woman losing her job and being the target of criticism from friends and neighbors.

The woman filed a criminal complaint of online defamation against the men on Oct 26, and the Yuhang District People's Court accepted the case on Dec 14. Later, the Zhejiang procuratorial organ recommended that the public security department open a criminal investigation and transferred the case from private prosecution to public.

In response to the cybercrimes, which have been trending upward in recent years, the SPP has set up a working group on punishing such crimes and a theoretical research center to promote comprehensive governance of the internet.

According to the SPP, more than 138,000 people were charged with committing crimes in cyberspace during the past year.

Zhang urged procuratorial organs nationwide to promote the campaign to fight organized crime, as the three-year effort launched in 2018 will soon end.

According to the SPP, when dealing with organized crime, the provincial-level procuratorates must review cases involving mafia-style gang crimes, and the city-level procuratorates must look into other gang crimes to ensure each is identified and penalized properly.

Over the past three years, more than 68,000 people have been prosecuted for their involvement in mafia-style gang crimes and more than 160,000 for other gang crimes, it said.

In addition, prosecutors were asked to continue seeking severe punishment for those who commit serious crimes and to resolve prominent cases concerning the public involving crimes such as gambling, fraud and drugs.

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