30 ministerial level officials probed for corruption in China
Beijing: Thirty ministerial level or higher officials in China, including the former Railway Minister, have been probed for corruption and over five million criminals have been convicted over the past five years.
Prosecutors have investigated about 13,000 officials at the county level or above for job-related crimes since 2008, Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the Supreme People`s Procuratorate (SPP) told the National People`s Congress (NPC), China`s parliament, on Sunday.
About 19,000 officials who received bribes were taken to court over the past five years.
Prosecutors also investigated about 36,900 administrative law enforcement officials and 12,894 judicial staff in a bid to fight judiciary corruption, according to his report.
Corruption has been identified as a major problem by the new leader of Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping, who warned that it could erode the ruling party`s hold on power.
Two top officials, former Railway Minister Liu Zhijun and disgraced CPC leader Bo Xilai, are facing investigation under corruption charges.
Since 2008, prosecutors, together with other law enforcement agencies, have seized a total of 6,220 escaped suspects of corruption cases.
The procurator also warned of outstanding problems in the work of prosecutors. "A small number of prosecutors have abused their power, failed to follow the protocol in the work, or used their power to seek personal profits, which seriously damaged the credit of law enforcement," he said.
The courts have also convicted and punished 5.24 million criminals from 2008 to 2012, up 25.5 per cent over the period from 2003 to 2007, he said.
Among them, 1.86 million were convicted of felony charges, including murder, robbery, kidnap, planting bombs, human trafficking and organisational crimes, Wang Shengjun, president of the Supreme People`s Court (SPC) said.
According to SPP`s work report, about 2.97 million suspects were charged in felony cases.
About 20,000 criminals were convicted of crimes related to the production and distribution of unsafe foods and substandard commodities, Wang told nearly 3,000 national lawmakers, who will deliberate the report.
The Chinese courts, however, have been cautious about delivering the death penalty and the supreme court strictly reviewed these sentences, he said.
"We have ensured the capital punishment to be imposed on a very small number of people convicted of extremely serious crimes," he said.
Over the past five years, the SPC closed 49,863 cases and local courts closed 55.26 million cases, he said.
Over the past five years, the courts sanctioned a total of 218 million yuan (USD 34.6 million) as state compensation in about 8,600 cases.
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