Improperly freed convicts in Guangdong back in jail

Improperly freed convicts in Guangdong back in jail

GUANGZHOU - Guangdong's provincial procuratorate returned 138 convicts to jail last year after finding they were unqualified to serve their terms outside of prison. The number included 12 former officials at the department level.

Of the total, 126 were convicted of job-related crimes, such as taking bribes or abusing power, said Peng Zhangbo, director of the prisons and reformatories department of Guangdong Provincial People's Procuratorate.

The move came after a review was undertaken in March of cases involving sentence reduction, parole and serving time outside of prison, he said.

It was part of a nationwide effort to curtail quick sentence reductions that have been seen for some wealthy or powerful convicts, and the practice of allowing them to leave prison after a short time to serve the remainder of their sentences on the outside.

In the review, the procuratorate scrutinized convicts involved in job-related, financial and gang-related crimes, and suspicious convicts and convicts who appeared to have completed their terms and who were reported by whistleblowers.

Among the convicts returned to prison, 72-year-old Wang Ju, former vice-mayor of Shenzhen, began serving a 20-year sentence in 2004. He was given medical parole for one year by the Guangdong Prison Administrative Bureau in 2006, and the parole was extended continuously.

Zhao Yucun, 71, the former chief of Shenzhen Customs, began serving a life sentence in 2003 and received a one-year medical parole in 2010 that was extended several times. He was also returned to prison.

In January of last year, the Ministry of Public Security issued a notice strictly regulating commutation of sentences, paroles and sentences served outside prison to prevent judicial corruption.

A total of 711 convicts, including 76 corrupt officials above bureau level, were returned to prisons to serve out their sentences during a crackdown on illegal commutations and conditional releases, the Supreme People's Prosecutorate said in August.

During the review in Guangdong, the procuratorate followed up on 27 tips involving improper releases. Among the 16 people investigated were Huang Qiusheng, former head of the detention house in Boluo county, Hui zhou, and Wang Haizeng, former deputy head.

Lian Hongzhong, a convict at the detention house, was taken out for a physical checkup and received approval to serve his term outside after faking medical results.

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