China investigated 50,000 duty-related criminal cases in 2014

BEIJING: Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), and Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), on Thursday reported their work of the past year to more than 2,000 National People’s Congress deputies. In the following days, the deputies will evaluate the reports, and vote on the two bodies’ performance.
Each year, the public pays great attention to the result of the vote. The SPC and SPP have also been trying hard to win more yes votes.
In the past year, the court system corrected a number of wrongly convicted cases, including the one in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in which a man named Hugjiltu, who was executed for rape and murder in 1996, was declared innocent in a retrial last year.
Since last year, the Chinese courts have been implementing the principle of legality, meaning that a defendant is not guilty without stipulation in explicit terms, and a defendant may not be convicted by the court when doubts about guilt remain.
The top court established the world’s largest verdict document website, publicizing 6.294 million verdicts online. The SPC also live-broadcast 80,000 trials online last year. It has set up two circuit courts, set up three courts specializing in intellectual property cases, and started cross-administrative region courts in Beijing and Shanghai to avoid the interference of local protectionism.
The SPP is in charge of public prosecution and the investigation of public duty-related crimes. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China launched an intensive anti-graft campaign, the SPP has been playing an increasingly important role, as the fight on corruption is carried out through legal procedures, not a political campaign.
According to Cao’s report, in 2014, procuratorial bodies across the country investigated 41,487 cases, which involved 5,5101 suspects, up 7.4 percent year-on-year. Twenty-eight officials of provincial and ministerial levels and above, including Zhou Yongkang, Xu Caihou and Jiang Jiemin, have been investigated for corruption. Some corrupt officials who fled overseas have been repatriated.
Before the two sessions began in early March, the People’s Daily, the Party’s flagship newspaper, published a series of opinion pieces, introducing Party leader Xi Jinping’s latest strategic blueprint, the “Four Comprehensives,” including comprehensively pushing forward the rule of law.
Under this background, China’s judicial bodies have been shouldering more important tasks, while the public expectations of the judicial system is also on the rise.
Wu Qing, a lawyer and an NPC deputy from Guangdong Province, said, “It is not an easy job for the court system to have handled 15.66 million cases last year. Despite the pressures, they have their best to uphold justice, which has raised the public confidence in the judicial system.”
Liu Hongyu, a political advisor who also sat in for the SPC and SPP reports, said the prosecutors’ fight on duty-related crimes will serve as deterrence to other officials and will lead to a change of China’s political eco-system.(People’s Daily)