Punish corrupt officials' mistresses

Updated: 2014-09-26 07:57

(China Daliy)

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With the exposure and/or arrest of many corrupt officials at different levels, people are now pointing the finger at their "mistresses", saying they can easily get away despite raking in considerable amounts of illegally earned money. Only by placing these "innocent outsiders" under legal supervision can sex-related corruption be rooted out, says an article on scol.com.cn. Excerpts:

About 95 percent of the corrupt officials who have been exposed are said to have had "mistresses". Worse, many corruption cases have been related to mistresses. For instance, Li Jiating, former governor of Yunnan province, embezzled 3 million yuan ($488,185) of public funds and "lent" it to his mistress for repaying her loans.

Such examples are not being cited to exonerate corrupt officials of their crimes, but to make people aware of the loss to public exchequer because of corrupt officials' sexual escapades. Corrupt officials' mistresses can also be power brokers. And although sometimes they can be unexpected contributors to the fight against corruption by exposing their lovers' illicit assets, that does not mean they should be spared punishment.

In reality, however, many corrupt officials' mistresses escape punishment and get away with substantial amounts of illegally earned money, which goes against the very essence of the anti-corruption campaign launched by the central authorities.

Despite accusations of being involved in sex trade and corruption, corrupt officials' mistresses have rarely been prosecuted, because the Criminal Law defines bribery mostly in terms of money or assets.

Therefore, to add more teeth to the ongoing anti-corruption campaign, "sex bribery" has to be considered a crime punishable by law, so that people indulging in such activities can be brought to book.