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Top Chinese procurator vows to better protect rights, prevent wrongful judgements
Last Updated: 2014-03-10 16:37 | Xinhua
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Cao Jianming, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), delivers a report on the SPP's work at the third plenary meeting of the second session of China's 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 10, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

Top Chinese procurator on Monday pledged to work harder to safeguard human rights in the country's lawful crackdown on crimes and prevent wrongful and unjust judicial decisions.

In a report on the work of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), Procurator-General Cao Jianming admitted that legitimate rights and interests of people involved in litigations had not been sufficiently protected.

"We have come to realize that our work still falls short of the demands of China's deepening reforms and its people's expectations," Cao said.

He said the SPP this year will work to ensure that the laws are enforced strictly and justice administered impartially, by focusing on rectifying illegitimate practices such as prosecuting cases on a selective basis, collecting evidences in an illegal fashion and imposing improper sentences.

Erroneous and unjust judicial decisions must be prevented, and the lawful practices of lawyers should be protected, Cao said.

China has witnessed increased public calls for judicial fairness after several wrongful judgment scandals emerged.

Zhang Hui and his uncle Zhang Gaoping, both residents of east China's Anhui Province, were sentenced to death and life in prison respectively in 2004 for allegedly raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl.

Their sentences were later commuted to a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for Zhang Hui and a 15-year prison term for Zhang Gaoping during a second trial, before the two were finally acquitted in March last year after a retrial found insufficient evidence to support their convictions.

Cao said Chinese procuratorates have improved an accountability system to discover, rectify and prevent wrongful and unjust judicial decisions, and has upheld the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" in its work last year.

Prosecutors dropped the arrests of 100,157 people and dropped prosecution of 16,427 people last year on grounds of insufficient evidence and that their actions failed to constitute crimes, he said.

More than 72,000 suggestions were made by prosecutors last year to rectify illegitimate practices such as abuse of compulsory measures, collecting evidences in an illegal fashion and extortion for confessions.

In addition, prosecutors appealed against 6,354 erroneous and unjust criminal verdicts, according to Cao.

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