Plan gives informants access to case info

Updated: 2013-06-25 02:18

By CAO YIN (China Daily)

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A system allowing residents to follow cases they reported has been set up to cover all grassroots prosecuting authorities in Beijing.

This means any resident who reports a case involving a person outside the resident's living area can follow the case through their local prosecuting authority rather than having to go to the authority with jurisdiction.

The platform was established in May 2012 to help residents efficiently follow cases they reported and to effectively supervise the work of prosecutors, the Beijing People's Procuratorate said on Monday.

Residents can report cases after they log on to the procuratorate's official website and are given an access password, the authority said, adding that all information provided will be secure.

Previously, if residents wanted to trace at what stage a case they reported was, they had to visit the prosecuting authority with jurisdiction, providing their name and identity card, said Liu Lei, an officer with the procuratorate's report center.

"Sometimes our prosecutors were absent or the case residents wanted to know about had been transferred to other departments, so we couldn't give them a reply immediately," she said, adding that it could take at least three days for a resident to get the desired information.

With the new system, however, residents can follow cases reported by them at a nearby prosecuting authority after typing in the given password on a touch screen, and all information would be shown, she said.

"The system makes checkups easier, and can ensure both the case's security and the informant's privacy," she said. "Every procuratorate has no more than three officers who have access to reading the reports, which aims to avoid any revenge on the informant due to the unauthorized release of information."

"We won't disclose the informants' names, provided materials, workplaces or where we talk, and will get their permission if their reports should be handed to other administrations, such as the disciplinary authority," she said, adding reports involving corruption and dereliction of duty have the strictest protection.

Prosecutors who are assigned the case will contact the informant quickly and start an investigation, after the informant provides their identity, she added.

So far, 8,761 cases have been checked on this platform, according to statistics provided by the procuratorate.

The system works as an important bridge between prosecutors and residents, helping them contact each other in the shortest time, said Zhang Hao, deputy director of the report center, adding it has been well received by lawyers.

Zhao Li, a Beijing-based criminal lawyer from King and Bond Law Firm, who used the system when working on a case related to Xicheng district authorities, said he liked it.

"It's easy for us to operate, because it just needs an ID card number and the given password, while it is also progress for the public to be able to supervise prosecutors' work," he said.

Much of the time, residents' reports have been ignored but, with such a transparent system, every case should be taken into consideration, he added.

However, Wang Xing, a lawyer from Huicheng Law Firm, said the system had not brought about the convenience that was expected.

"We still have to go to the prosecuting authority to check the reported case, not follow it online," he said. "Meanwhile, the platform has no interactive function, which means we are just informed and cannot communicate with the procuratorate.''