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Prosecutors to add staff to tackle Net crimes

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

09:13, May 02, 2013

Single people participate in a blind date activity in Beijing. (Wang Shen / Xinhua)

Beijing's prosecuting authorities will bring in more professionals who are capable of inspecting online evidence in an effort to better deal with crimes on the Internet.

The number of Web crimes, especially online fraud, is rising fast, but it is rare to see prosecutors with the technical background and knowledge to handle such cases, according to the Beijing People's Procuratorate.

Since 2008, prosecutors in the capital's Chaoyang district have tackled more than 50 cases involving fraud on the Web, while the procuratorate in Shijingshan district has prosecuted more than 200 residents for such crimes.

"To handle online cases, prosecutors should be able to analyze and examine e-evidence, but this is a challenge for current prosecutors," said Zhang Kai, a prosecutor from Chaoyang district.

Ma Shuang, a prosecutor from Shijingshan district, echoed Zhang's view, saying many prosecutors are not knowledgeable about the online fraud skills that criminals have mastered, which makes it difficult to solve such cases.

"E-evidence can be said to be a key to lodge a prosecution, but is hard to find and inspect. In this way, if prosecutors don't know some cheaters' tricks, the evidence will be easier to transfer and delete," she said.

In 2012, the first batch of prosecutors was trained with computer skills and e-evidence inspection, but the number of prosecutors who are good at dealing with online cases across the city is still fewer than 10.

"The figure is far from what we expected and cannot adapt to the boom in crimes on the Internet," both prosecutors added.

To make up for the lack of talent, Beijing's top procuratorate will continue training in e-evidence inspection and analysis, while considering employing prosecutors whose majors relate to computers or networks.

Prosecuting authorities in Dongcheng district have taken the first step, establishing an office involving five prosecutors to tackle online crimes this year.

"We have only one with a computer background, but we will study e-evidence together, and this special group, I believe, can target online crimes and make inspections effectively," said Mao Shoujia, director of the office.

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