Judges rebuked in court crackdown

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 August, 1998, 12:00am

Nearly 300 judges and court officials have been reprimanded this year for breaking the law or overstepping their authority, Justice Minister Xiao Yang said.

Thirty-three were given 'criminal sentences' in the clean-up campaign launched when the minister took office six months ago. It remains unclear just how severe the sentences were or what offences were committed.

By mid-June, 261 judicial officials had been disciplined in the Justice Ministry crackdown.

Officials also reviewed 10,340 cases in which judgments were deemed to be against the law.

Eighty per cent of these cases were found to have rulings exceeding the courts' authority or were wrong because of procedural errors. Others were found to have been wrong adjudication.

The judiciary has so far redressed 7,059, or 68 per cent of these cases.

While Mr Xiao reaffirmed his confidence in his team, he said people must also recognise the 'seriousness of the problems' affecting the judiciary.

In an interview with the Communist Party magazine Outlook, Mr Xiao said judicial officials must always be at the vanguard of justice.

Xinhua also reported that Qi Tongjun, a procurator of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, has been dismissed for breaching rules while handling cases.

The dismissal was passed on Saturday by a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.