China seeks to pre­vent graft sus­pect sui­cides

The China Post - - LIFE -

Chi­nese pros­e­cu­tors will be pun­ished if of­fi­cials they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing for abuse of of­fice com­mit sui­cide, author­i­ties said, af­ter sev­eral sus­pects caught up in an anti-cor­rup­tion drive killed them­selves.

Un­der leader Xi Jin­ping, a much-pub­li­cized anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign has en­snared a long list of se­nior and ju­nior of­fi­cials. Some have com­mit­ted sui­cide, es­cap­ing pos­si­ble crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings and seizure of ill-got­ten gains, to the ben­e­fit of their fam­i­lies.

In the latest ex­am­ple, the head of a multi­bil­lion-U.S.-dol­lar state-owned Chi­nese heavy ma­chin­ery man­u­fac­turer was found hang­ing in his of­fice on Mon­day as anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tors probed his firm.

Re­spected busi­ness news out­let Caixin said in Jan­uary that at least 50 party and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials have been pub­licly de­clared to have died of “un­nat­u­ral causes” since 2012.

The Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate is­sued eight or­ders re­strict­ing how probes into acts of abuse of of­fice, which of­ten in­volve bribery or other forms of cor­rup­tion, should be car­ried out.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors will be sus­pended and “dealt with ac­cord­ing to dis­ci­pline and the law” if the sub­jects of their in­quiries es­cape, are in­jured, or com­mit sui­cide be­cause of their “un­law­ful” or “se­verely ir­re­spon­si­ble” acts, it said in a state­ment on its web­site Thurs­day.

Pros­e­cu­tors are also banned from ac­cept­ing money from com­pa­nies un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, un­rea­son­ably im­pos­ing co­er­cive mea­sures, or ob­tain­ing con­fes­sions through tor­ture, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

“The eight bans are pros­e­cu­tors’ code of con­duct in their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the fight against cor­rup­tion,” it said.

“They will help build an anti-cor­rup­tion sys­tem that en­sures jus­tice, trans­parency and stan­dards, and im­prove the ef­fects and cred­i­bil­ity of the anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign.”

It vowed “zero tol­er­ance” over vi­o­la­tions of the rules, warn­ing pros­e­cu­tors and the po­lice that the bans were “high volt­age ca­bles” that no one should “dare to touch.”

In 2013, five Com­mu­nist Party anti-cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tors and a pros­e­cu­tor in Wen­zhou city were sen­tenced to four to 14 years in jail for drown­ing a state-owned com­pany of­fi­cial re­port­edly stripped and held un­der wa­ter to try to ex­tract a cor­rup­tion con­fes­sion.

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