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Sunday, March 13, 2016, 11:44

China to keep up 'high pressure' on corruption

By Agencies
China to keep up 'high pressure' on corruption

File photo of Pei Jianqiang, one of China's most wanted economic fugutives, is escorted by policemen at Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, Jan 1, 2016. Fleeing abroad in 2009, the 48-year-old former manager of China International Enterprises Cooperative's import and export department is one of the 100 economic suspects on a list wanted worldwide by the Interpol's National Central Bureau of China. (Photo / Xinhua)

BEIJING - Cao Jianming, Procurator-General of Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), delivers a work report during the ongoing "two sessions" on Sunday.

According to SPP work report, A total of 22 Chinese ex-officials at ministerial level or above, including former leader Zhou Yongkang, were prosecuted last year while 41 were subject to formal investigations, up from 28 in 2014.

Since November 2012, when the new CPC leadership took office, anti-corruption has become one of the top priorities. Cao's report said prosecutors nationwide have a firm resolution in fighting corruption and focused on major and serious corrupt cases involving high-ranking officials.

More than three years into a high-profile anti-corruption drive targeting both "tigers" and "flies" -- the terms assigned to different officials depending on their ranks and levels of corruption -- the popular campaign has so far shown little sign of losing momentum.

According to the SPP work report, close to 80 former Chinese officials at ministerial level or above had been investigated in the three years between 2013 and 2015.

All in all, 54,249 officials were investigated for their involvement in 40,834 graft cases in 2015, according to Procurator-General Cao. The figures represent a slight drop from the year before, when 55,101 officials were probed in 41,487 cases.

They include 4,568 officials at division level and above and 769 officials at prefecture level and above.

On the "tigers" end, prosecutors looked into 4,490 graft, bribery and embezzlement cases that involved more than 1 million yuan (US$154,083) each, Cao said.

More than 13,000 officials were investigated and punished for accepting bribes, in addition to over 8,200 for offering bribes.

On the "flies" end, more than 20,500 grassroots officials from the agricultural sector as well as land acquisition, social insurance, education and medicare services were investigated and punished, Cao said.

Meanwhile a total of 33 people in southwest China's Sichuan Province were convicted of criminal offense during an electoral fraud in 2011 in the city of Nanchong, according to a work report on the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP).

No further details, neither the 33 people's names and titles nor their respective verdicts, were provided in the report to be delivered by Procurator-General Cao Jianming.

An earlier report published last September said 477 people, most of them Communist Party of China (CPC) members and officials, were involved in the fraud case which saw 230 Party officials took bribes totaling 16.72 million yuan (about US$2.57 million).

The Xinhua report said 33 people were expelled from the CPC, and their public posts stripped of. Their cases were transferred to judicial organs, the report said.

Yang Jianhua, former Party chief of Yilong County, was reportedly sentenced to 20 years in prison for embezzling 800,000 yuan of public funds to bribe potential members of the CPC Nanchong municipal committee in order to have them elect himself to its standing committee.

Former Nanchong Party chief Liu Hongjian was given three years for dereliction of duty, the report said.

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