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China targets pollution-related misconduct by officials

2014-06-13 09:06 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

China's procuratorial agencies will intensify their work to investigate and prosecute environment-related crimes, including official misconduct in pollution cases.

In the first four months of this year, a total of 349 people in China were investigated or prosecuted by procuratorial agencies for suspected crimes of dereliction of duty regarding environmental issues, according to a document issued at a press conference held by the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) on Thursday.

In such cases, government officials were found to have failed to practice their administrative duty in handling pollution cases, and some accepted bribes, abused their power to approve polluting projects, and acted as a "protective umbrella" for polluters, said Li Zhongcheng, deputy head of the SPP's tribunal in charge of duty dereliction prosecutions.

From 2013 to April of this year, a total of 1,545 people had been investigated, the SPP document said.

The prosecutors are also working to punish crimes that caused environmental damages.

In 2013, procuratorial agencies across China brought charges against 20,969 people for relevant crimes, the document said.

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