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Thursday, July 30, 2015, 09:26

Rules of parole, lower sentences for corrupt officials tightened

By Cao Yin

Corrupt former minister-level officials who apply for parole or a reduced sentence must have their applications reviewed by the Supreme People's Court, China's top court said on Wednesday.

The move is intended to ensure that the legal process is regulated and to avoid judicial corruption, said TengWei, deputy chief judge of the review and supervision department at the top court.

The courts must strictly enforce the rule and hand over graft officials' applications to a higher court, Teng said. They must also disclose any related information.

The rule took effect on June 1 last year, but the court high-lighted how it affects corrupt former high-level officials at a news conference on Wednesday. It stipulates that their cases must be reviewed by the top court's core committee, which can include the court president, vice-president and senior judges, Teng said.

"Every court must highlight the rule, making the procedures of the commutation or parole transparent and avoiding corruption in the court system," she said.

The new requirements are designed to stop some prisoners who used money or personal relations to reduce their sentence or gain parole in the past, Teng added.

The top court is also planning to revise a judicial interpretation on how to handle commutation, parole and prisoners serving their sentences out of prison - such as pregnant women or criminals undergoing hospital treatment.

The revised ruling should be issued by the end of this year, said Luo Zhiyong, a judge responsible for the revision.

The top court has established a long-term mechanism to supervise commutation or parole cases in lower courts. It will correct mistakes made in some cases and investigate prison officers and judges who accept money from prisoners in relation to their applications, Luo added.

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