Courts, prosecutors report on 5 years of work

Shanghai Higher People's Court and Shanghai People's Prosecutors' Office release work reports at the Shanghai People's Congress, detailing their work in criminal and civil cases.

Shanghai courts handled 1,460 duty-related crimes, such as corruption, bribery and malpractice, in the past five years with 1,928 people punished, 26 of whom were at bureau level or above, according to a Shanghai Higher People's Court work report.

The defendants included top-level officials such as Yang Zhenchao, former vice governor of east China's Anhui Province, and Dai Haibo, former deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai government.

There were 254 duty-related cases last year, involving 352 people. Nine were at bureau level or above, the court said.

According to the report delivered by Cui Yadong, the higher court's president, local courts accepted nearly 3.18 million cases over the past five years, an increase of 54.2 percent.

Some 149,000 criminal cases of the first instance were tackled within the five years, a 33 percent increase over the previous five-year period. Around 4,900 were related to serious violence like murder. However, the number of criminal cases settled last year was down 3.2 percent compared to 2016 at 27,700.

The courts handled 16,300 crimes in connection with drug production, transport and sales, and more than 1,980 cases on food and drug security dealt with, including the Shanghai Husi Food Co expired meat scandal.

The courts handled 280 crimes related to personal information and 141 telecom scams.

Meanwhile, more than 2 million civil and commercial cases of the first instance were settled by local courts in the five-year period, up 65.6 percent, with the amount of money involved soaring by 176.1 percent to over 856.4 billion yuan (US$135.5 billion). Some 17,100 involved foreign individuals or companies.

They also helped migrant workers get 612 million yuan of wages they hadn't been paid.

The courts also made efforts to protect the rights of women and children. Since an anti-domestic violence law took effect in March 2016, they have issued 74 protective orders for those living under the threat of family violence. About 33,400 the civil cases settled involved children, including the nation’s first guardianship dispute related to surrogacy.

The courts handled 94,000 cases related to the free trade zone, with some 44,200 cases related to intellectual property rights going to trial, an increase of 301.8 percent.

About 478,000 cases of the first instance settled were financial ones, up by 358.3 percent. One was the Everbright Securities' "fat finger" case where the unusual performance of the Shanghai Composite Index in 2013, which was found to be caused by Everbright’s insider trading.

A crackdown on illegal fundraising was enhanced. The courts ruled on 705 cases, including Zhongjin Capital Management's 30 billion yuan Ponzi scheme, and retrieved almost 18.7 billion yuan for 357,000 victims.

More than 550 cases the courts handled were about protecting the environment.

Meanwhile, local prosecutors investigated 2,236 officials involved in 1,815 duty-related cases over the past five years, said Zhang Bencai, chief prosecutor of the Shanghai People’s Prosecutors’ Office, giving its annual report.

They settled 1,108 cases linked to bribery, including those linked to government purchases, project construction, health care and sanitation.

Twenty-seven fugitives in duty-related cases who had fled overseas had been taken back to China in the Sky Net campaign.

Last year prosecutors launched investigations into 421 people in 355 cases, rises of 26.4 percent and 17 percent, respectively, compared to 2016.

Over the five years, local procuratorates approved the arrest of 139,316 suspects and charged 201,675, rises of 11.1 percent and 23.6 percent, respectively. More than 5,400 people involved in 4,370 cases related to serious violence, such as murder, robbery and kidnapping, had been charged, including Lin Senhao, a Fudan university postgraduate who poisoned his roommate, and Sun Haojie, who killed a traffic police officer by ramming into him.

They also stepped up a crackdown on financial crimes, prosecuting 9,920 people in 7,525 cases, up 35.4 percent and 58 percent compared to the five years before.

They prosecuted 2,206 suspects in 1,387 intellectual property rights infringement crimes, 3,208 in 2,000 food safety cases, 554 in 314 environmental damage cases and 426 in 368 cases of child abuse or sexual assault.

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