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Reinvestigation of China Red Cross scandal pending


19:06, May 06, 2013

BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Supervisors of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) still have not reached an agreement on whether to reinvestigate a scandal involving the charity from two years ago.

Wang Yong, a member of the RCSC social supervision committee, on Monday said committee members will formulate a detailed plan for the reinvestigation next month and vote on the final decision.

Some committee members felt it necessary to initiate a new probe into the scandal while others disagreed, Wang said.

According to Wang, the RCSC social supervision committee is a 16-strong independent board, with no administrative and financial link with the RCSC itself, and is designed to supervise the charity.

Its members include scholars, university professors, a renowned financial expert and a TV celebrity.

The reputation of the RCSC took a major hit in 2011, when a young woman calling herself Guo Meimei used social media to say she was a manager in an organization under the charity and openly flaunted her wealth and extravagance.

The scandal triggered public concern that donations to the charity were embezzled.

An investigation in 2011, conducted by the a team composed of experts from the Ministry of Supervision, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a law firm, the China General Chamber of Commerce and the RCSC, asserted that neither Guo, nor her demonstrated wealth, had anything to do with the RCSC.

However, the 2011 investigation results have failed to convince the public. The public has been reluctant to donate to the charity after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province last month, Wang said.

When commenting on the supervision committee's proposal of a new investigation, the RCSC last month said it upholds the results of the original one.

However, the committee used its account on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging service, to stress that as the committee and its investigation are independent of the charity, the RCSC's position will not hinder the committee's decision.

If a majority of the committee members vote for the reinvestigation, the probe will be arranged, it said.

"The RCSC will never shake off the taint and restore its reputation unless the public's doubts in the scandal get fully investigated and explained," Wang said.

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