Deals planned to recover illegal assets from abroad

Updated: 2014-12-29 07:51

By Zhang Yan(China Daily)

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Under Chinese criminal law, courts are unlikely to issue sentences on suspects and their illegal gains if they do not attend court hearings.

Since November 2012, when the new leadership took office, President Xi Jinping has conducted a sweeping campaign to fight corruption and required authorities to strengthen judicial cooperation with other countries to hunt down fugitives and recover their illegally obtained assets.

To that effect, China and Canada are also set to ink an agreement to share recovered assets that fugitives illegally transfer to Canadian destinations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

After the agreement is concluded, it will provide a legal basis for Canada to share the proceeds of forfeited assets with China, once the funds are identified as belonging to a criminal or criminal organization, Canadian Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques said.

France is also committed to assisting China in locating and freezing fugitives' transferred assets, such as property, bank savings and other investments, while communicating with Chinese judicial organs to share the seized assets, according to the French Ministry of Justice.

"For each individual case, we will negotiate with our Chinese counterparts to share the seized funds in a proper proportion," said Robert Gelli, director of the criminal affairs department of the French Ministry of Justice.

The priority for China is to "train professional law enforcement officers, who are familiar with laws in Western countries and able to draft high-quality legal documents, as well those who are proficient at speaking English to communicate with their counterparts for case details", said Huang Feng, a law professor at Beijing Normal University.

China should also speed up legislation, such as that involving national judicial assistance, and revise laws to keep up with the repatriation of international fugitives and recovery of their proceeds, he said.

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