Major corruption prosecutions up in 2013

Updated: 2014-01-06 00:38

By AN BAIJIE (China Daily)

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Procuratorial authorities to enhance investigations of fugitives, graft cases

Major corruption prosecutions up in 2013

China's procuratorial authorities investigated 27,236 embezzlement and bribery cases between January and November last year, sentencing 36,907 people, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said in a statement on Sunday.

Of those cases, 80 percent were considered major or important, which the top procuratorate defines as embezzlement and bribery cases involving more than 50,000 yuan ($8,270) or earmarking public funds over 100,000 yuan.

The number of serious corruption cases has risen over the past five years. In 2012, there were 20,442 major and important cases, compared with 18,464 in 2011 and 17,594 in 2008, according to the procuratorate.

Procuratorial authorities have investigated and dealt with 16,510 cases that directly resulted in public losses from January to November last year, with 23,017 officials punished, the statement said.

Of those cases directly related to the public interest, 12,824 are considered major and important, with more than 5.51 billion yuan involved, according to the statement.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate has issued more than 30 documents to standardize law enforcement and improve the handling of corruption cases, said the statement.

Procuratorial authorities will enhance investigations of fugitives and corrupted funds, the statement added.

Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said in October that 198,781 people were investigated in graft cases from January 2008 to August 2013.

One of the highest-profile corruption cases involves Liu Zhijun, former minister of railways, who accepted 64.6 million yuan in bribes and was sentenced death with a two-year reprieve on July 8, the Procuratorial Daily said in an year-ender article published last month.

On Saturday, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the country's top anti-graft agency, solicited public opinion through its website.

Through an entry on the front page of the website, netizens could submit suggestions on how to improve the website, by which people can supervise public power, according to the commission.

One netizen suggested that the website should allow users to comment on the commission's articles, thus helping it to learn more about public opinion, Beijing News reported.

The commission revamped its website in September to boost transparency and make it easier for the public to submit whistle-blowing information.

Jiang Ming'an, a Peking University law professor, said that anti-graft authorities will increase supervision of government officials, especially the senior leaders, who always have overwhelming power in decision-making processes.

"Just as President Xi Jinping said, both ‘tigers' and ‘flies' (both high- and low-ranking corrupt officials) should be punished," he said.

Last month, at least five officials of ministerial level were investigated on allegations of corruption, including Li Dongsheng, former vice-minister of public security, and Li Chongxi, former top political advisor in Sichuan province.

Xinhua contributed to this story.