Tougher graft penalties promised
By STAFF REPORTER
BEIJING party secretary Jia Qinglin vowed yesterday to punish corrupt officials with extra severity.
But the authorities have yet to conclude long-delayed proceedings against Mr Jia's predecessor and ousted Politburo member Chen Xitong.
Speaking at the eighth Beijing Municipal Party Congress, Mr Jia said the city would devote more effort to anti-graft work.
'We will seriously investigate and handle cases involving infringement of discipline and violation of the law,' Mr Jia said.
Mr Jia, who was inducted into the Politburo last September, said there would be no exceptions.
He said investigating authorities would particularly target graft in finance, stocks and property.
According to discipline-inspection and supervision departments, the city has, in the past five years, probed 6,000 cases of breaches in party discipline and laws.
By October, 5,000 cases had been settled and potential economic losses worth 15 million yuan (HK$13.95 million) halted. Mr Jia called upon officials to discipline themselves and learn a lesson from the case of Chen, who was detained in early 1995 for alleged graft.
Diplomatic analysts said even though the party had promised court proceedings against Chen would start soon, it seemed likely the case would drag on.
They said the delay would cast doubt on the party's determination to penalise cadres with high political connections.
Mr Jia also gave the congress his views on expanding Marxist education and the open-door policy.