China orders stricter arrest warrant approval for defamation suspects after reporter "wanted"

09:30, August 08, 2010      

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Prosecutors will have to obtain approval from a higher-level prosecutorate before they order arrest warrants for suspects accused of defamation, officials with China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced Saturday.

The move came only days after police of Suichang County in Zhejiang Province canceled a warrant for Qiu Ziming, a reporter from the Economic Observer News, who was accused of defamation by a publicly-listed company.

The quality of handling criminal cases is the "lifeline" of the work in investigating, supervising and examining police applications to arrest persons implicated in a crime, according to a statement issued by the SPP.

"To issue low-quality or even incorrect arrest warrants not only violates people's legitimate rights, but also severely undermines the credibility of prosecuting authorities and tarnishes the image of the Communist Party of China and the government," it says.

China's Criminal Procedural Law delegated different responsibilities to the three branches of the justice system -- the courts, the prosecutors and the police. Before formally issuing an arrest warrant, prosecutors are required to examine police applications and investigations.

In Qiu's case, the reporter had been wanted by the police of Suichang after Zhejiang Kan Specialty Material Co., Ltd. (Kan) accused him of defaming the company by reporting fabricated stories.

However, police of Lishui City, which administers Suichang, ordered the county's public security bureau to cancel the warrant for Qiu after a review found the warrant failed to meet statutory requirements.

Source: Xinhua


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