Prosecutors to face crackdown

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 May, 1998, 12:00am

Procurator-General Han Zhubin says lawlessness among prosecutors has become 'very serious' in some areas.

Mr Han told the Communist Party magazine Outlook a national shake-up among prosecutors was urgently needed.

Although the majority of prosecutors were honest and law-abiding, Mr Han admitted there were black sheep. Corruption, favouritism and the torture of suspects were rampant in some areas.

Vowing to stop violations, Mr Han revealed how suspects were being mistreated in investigations.

Some prosecutors used their interrogation rooms like prison cells to hold suspects against the law or beyond the legal detention period.

Mr Han said the use of torture to extract confessions must be stopped and suspects should be questioned only in interrogation rooms and in accordance with procedures.

Prosecutors found to have tortured suspects would be suspended and investigated, Mr Han said.

The judicial authorities recently decided to launch a national 're-education' campaign to stop such malpractices.

The campaign was part of a clean-up exercise started by premier Zhu Rongji since taking over from Li Peng in March.

Last week, top judge Xiao Yang invited deputies from the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to the Supreme People's Court and urged them to play a role in supervising judges.