Corrupt Chinese judges to face harsh punishments: SPC vice president

08:27, December 30, 2010      

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Corrupt judges in China will face severe punishments as their practices harm the justice system and interests of the public, Vice President of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) Xiong Xuanguo said in Beijing Wednesday.

"The judicial system is the last line of defense to safeguard social fairness and justice, so corruption among court staff must be severely punished," Xiong said at a press conference on the the country's first ever white paper on anti-graft efforts.

Crimes by "a very small number" of judges, including some in leading positions, will not be tolerated, he added.

On Jan. 19, SPC's former vice president Huang Songyou was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was convicted of taking more than 3.9 million yuan (about 588,700 U.S. dollars) of bribes from 2005 to 2008.

The SPC has appointed discipline supervisors in its 14 departments and more than 27,700 supervisors are watching over nearly 3,000 courts nationwide, SPC President Wang Shengjun said in March when reporting to the country's top legislature.

China's efforts to combat corruption and build a clean government have been managed systematically and promoted comprehensively and "achieved results," says the white paper, titled China's Efforts to Combat Corruption and Build a Clean Government and issued by the Information Office of the State Council on Wednesday.

From 2003 to 2009, prosecutors at all levels investigated more than 240,000 cases of embezzlement, bribery, dereliction of duty, and rights infringement, according to the white paper.

From January to November, the Party's discipline watchdogs investigated 119,000 graft cases, resulting in 113,000 people being punished, of whom 4,332 were prosecuted, said Wu Yuliang, secretary general of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of Communist Party of China (CPC), at the same press conference Wednesday.

In 2009, some 7,036 officials were held responsible for serious mistakes, breach of duty, and failing to manage and supervise subordinates.

The document quoted a National Bureau of Statistics survey as saying that 83.8 percent of Chinese thought corruption was reduced to some extent in 2010, which was up from 68.1 percent in 2003.

However, the document says that the task of curbing corruption remains arduous.

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