China's procurator-general said on Tuesday that Chinese procuratorial organs approved arrests of 891,620 criminal suspects and prosecuted 999,086 people in 2006, which helped create a sound legal environment for the country's economic and social development.
"We have continued to give priority to maintaining social stability and cracking down on criminal offenses," said Jia Chunwang, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), in a report on the SPP's work in the past year.
To strike hard on mafia-like criminal cliques, the procuratorial organs issued a total of 18,446 arrest warrants to people suspected of getting involved in such cliques, and prosecuted 8,343 such people, Jia told the nearly 3,000 lawmakers attending the annual full session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
A number of government employees were investigated and punished for having served as a "safety umbrella" for the criminal cliques, said the procurator-general, without giving the specific number.
The procuratorial organs also strengthened judicial protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) last year, approving the arrests of 3,729 people suspected of IPR violations and prosecuting 3,634, an increase of 16.7 percent and 12.6 percent respectively over the previous year.
The procuratorial organs also approved the arrests of 7,974 people suspected of damaging the environment and resources, and prosecuted 12,240, up 15.4 percent and 24.8 percent respectively, said Jia.
According to the top prosecutor, 40,041 government employees were probed by prosecutors in 2006 for 33,669 cases involving corruption, bribery and dereliction of duty, of whom 29,966 were brought to court.
The procuratorial organs investigated a total of 18,241 major job-related criminal cases, 623 of them each involving graft and bribery of more than 1 million yuan (128,000 U.S. dollars).
Last year, Jia said, Chinese prosecutors investigated 2,736 government officials above the county level, including 202 at the prefecture level and six at the provincial or ministerial level.
In a report on the work of the Supreme People's Court delivered to the lawmakers prior to Jia's report, top judge Xiao Yang said Chinese courts sentenced 825 government officials above the county level, including 9 provincial- and ministerial-level officials, after convicting them of job-related crimes in the past year.
The procuratorial organs also collaborated with the police to apprehend 1,670 fugitives suspected of job-related crimes in 2006, a sharp increase of 137.6 percent year on year, Jia said.
Crackdown on commercial bribery was intensified in 2006, he said, adding that a total of 9,582 commercial bribery cases involving government employees were investigated, involving more than 1.5 billion yuan.
As a result of tightened legal supervision over the litigation process, the procuratorial organs in 2006 corrected illegally prolonged detention cases involving 233 people, and lodged 3,161 protests against wrong criminal verdicts of the court.
"A total of 2,987 judicial workers were probed for power abuse and taking bribes," said the procurator-general.
Jia spoke highly of the convening of first annual conference of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities ( IAACA) in China last October.
The SPP was one of the sponsors for the launching of the IAACA, which would play as a "new platform for our country's international cooperation in the fight against corruption," Jia told the lawmakers.
The procuratorial organs handled a total of 477,596 petitions submitted through letters and visits from the general public in 2006.
Jia went on to point out problems that remain in the work of Chinese procuratorial organs.
"The role of procuratorial organs in exercising legal supervision was not brought into full play, while some problems concerning unfair law enforcement remained unsettled," he said.
Jia promised that this year the procuratorial organs will earnestly perform their duty of legal supervision and put themselves under the scrutiny of people's congresses at all levels and the whole society.