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Harsh justice recommended for bribe givers (3)

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

09:08, September 05, 2012

He said that bribery mainly happens during the bidding process for important infrastructure projects.

However, Zhou said, the main cause of the problem lies in the absence of judicial interpretation that clearly states the activity of offering bribes, causing confusion for legal workers when hearing such cases.

Yi Shenghua, a lawyer specializing in bribery cases at Yingke Law Firm in Beijing, said that in some cases, people have no other choice but to give money.

For example, according to court documents, Hou Xingzhi — the former director of Chongqing Energy Group who was sentenced to life in prison for accepting 6.25 million yuan in bribes between 1996 and April 2011 — demanded money from low-level officials and residents, on one occasion to buy his son a new car.

Chongqing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court has never disclosed details on the people who handed over bribes.

"It’s also common to see several people offering bribes to one official, although the amounts are not very big, say, 2,000 yuan," Yi said. "Small amounts usually do not constitute a crime."

The phenomenon will not be easily rooted out because under law, some people know their offering bribes will incur only minor penalties, costing much less than what they could possibly gain through bribing, Yi said.

In this way, how to stop officials from accepting bribes is still the key to correcting the problem, he said.

"After all, no acceptance, no bribery," he added.


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