China to punish officials who interfere in judicial cases

China to punish officials who interfere in judicial cases

BEIJING - China's top prosecutor will punish officials who attempt to interfere in court cases, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, the latest move adopted by the government to boost the rule of law and instill confidence in the courts.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate said it will also"regularly publicise cases of officials who interfere with judicial processes", Xinhua said.

If interference constitutes a violation of discipline or a crime, officials will be punished through "disciplinary measures or criminal sanctions", according to Xinhua. It did not spell out the punishments for offenders.

The ruling Communist Party held a key meeting last year to improve the rule of law, reflecting worries about rising social unrest.

Anger over land grabs, corruption and pollution - issues often left unresolved by courts - has resulted in violence between police and residents in recent years, threatening the stability the ruling Communist Party is so keen to maintain.

Judicial corruption and a series of miscarriage of justice scandals have also sapped confidence in the system.

But courts are controlled by the party, which has given no indication it will grant the judiciary complete independence. Courts generally do not challenge party accusations in high-profile and sensitive cases involving corrupt officials or dissidents.


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