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Reports aim to show crackdown on corruption

2014-01-22 09:25 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Shanghai Higher People's Court has reiterated guidelines that govern what judges are not allowed to do outside the courtroom, including prohibitions on attending events that might influence ongoing cases, accepting gifts from involved parties, or going to activities where gambling, prostitutes or illegal drugs are present, a high court official said at Tuesday's meeting of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress (SMPC).

The guidelines are a response to a scandal that came to light in August, in which four senior judges were fired for hiring prostitutes at a nightclub, said Cui Yadong, the acting president of Shanghai Higher People's Court.

Cui announced the draft guidelines while giving the SMPC his work report on the city's court system. Both Cui and Shanghai's chief prosecutor vowed to strengthen official discipline and increase transparency to prevent judicial corruption.

Along with self-discipline, one way to prevent judicial corruption is to make the penalties so severe that judges won't risk breaking the rules, said Wu Jian, an SMPC delegate from Pudong New Area and a lawyer at Duan & Duan Law Firm.

Wu told the Global Times it would also help to raise judges' salaries so they're less tempted to take bribes.

Shanghai prosecutors investigated 453 officials or government employees in 2013 for accepting bribes, embezzlement or abuse of power, said Chen Xu, the chief prosecutor of the Shanghai People's Prosecutor's Office, during his work report to the SMPC.

Nearly 95 percent of the 325 cases involved large sums of money or officials in "important" positions.

In one case, prosecutors accused the former director of Shanghai Provident Fund Management Center, Wan Zengwei, in November of accepting up to 5.9 million yuan ($975,241) in bribes, Chen said.

In another, prosecutors also investigated whether the deputy director of the Shanghai Songjiang District People's Government, Wang Jun, accepted more than 1.9 million yuan in bribes.

Chen didn't say if Wang had been charged after the investigation.

The chief prosecutor also did not disclose who allegedly bribed the officials or what they wanted in exchange.

Chen pointed out that the city's prosecutor's offices paid special attention to reports and tips about crimes that cost taxpayers money.

Local prosecutors opened 106 cases involving 129 people, about one-third of the total number of corruption cases that they handled during last year.

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