Sharp rise in Guangdong's serious crime
SERIOUS crimes including murder, robbery, drug dealing and burglary rose sharply in Guangdong last year, according to a provincial court report.
The report, which will be delivered by Guangdong People's Court Director Mai Chongjie today at the Guangdong People's Congress said the crime problem remained serious last year.
But the top judge pledged in his report that the judiciary would continue to use tough penalties, including capital punishment, to bring the crime rate down.
Mr Mai revealed that 25,663 criminals were sentenced last year. Of this figure, 55.5 per cent, or 14,286, were sent to jail for at least five years, up by 7.2 per cent from the previous year.
A total of 17,374 criminals were convicted on charges such as murder, robbery, serious theft, highway robbery and organised crime last year.
In addition, 1,385 criminals were found guilty of the so-called ''seven evils'', which include gambling and prostitution. Drug dealing rose by 19.5 per cent, with 649 people convicted.
While Mr Mai admits in his report that Guangdong faces a hard task this year, he gives few details on problems affecting the judiciary.
For example, although he does admit that many judges were reluctant to hear cases filed against the Government, he fails to assure the congress delegates that such malpractices will be corrected this year.
Meanwhile, Guangdong Procurator-General Wang Jun warns in his report for the congress that corruption is on the rise in the province.
According to his report, the procuratorate received a total of 4,246 corruption complaints last year and 1,930 suspects are under investigation.
More than 1,200 of these cases were considered major crimes involving bribes of more than 10,000 yuan (HK$8,880), representing a 27.7 per cent increase from 1992.
The prosecution body began questioning 1,083 people in 945 cases from last August, and 394 of them were party and government officials.
Mr Wang also reveals that the procuratorate last year approved the arrests of 33,399 suspects, up by 14.7 per cent on 1992.
Last year there were 11,495 cases of unlawful detention and together with kidnapping, they remain serious problems, he wrote.
In his summary, Mr Wang admits that the Government's anti-graft efforts still fall short of public expectations.