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Harsh justice recommended for bribe givers

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

09:06, September 05, 2012

A visitor watches an exhibition showing achievements made in the fight against bribery, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Zhu Yinwei / for China Daily

Experts say light punishments are not sufficiently effective as deterrent

The penalties for people who offer bribes should be toughened to strengthen the country’s fight against corruption, legal experts say.

For years, courts have been giving light sentences to people providing bribes, and in some cases failing to punish them at all, said Ren Jianming, director of Beihang University’s clean-governance research and education center.

He said his information is based on a provincial court’s research report.

A report in June by Changzhou’s Intermediate People’s Court in Jiangsu province also found that low- to mid-level courts in the city heard 209 cases in 2009 and 2010 involving people accepting bribes, although the number of trials for people who paid bribes was only 20.

Among the people involved in those 20 cases, 14 were sentenced, with 11 given probation and another six freed without punishment, the report said.

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate has given criminal punishments to 4,217 people who paid bribes in 2011, a 6.2 percent year-on-year increase.

However, Ren said he does not believe the measures will deter people from offering bribes.

"Some judicial authorities give heavy penalties for people who accept bribes, but they show too much leniency when dealing with those providing the bribes," he said.

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