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January 20, 2011

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Graft cases up 11% as overall crime falls

CORRUPTION trials were up by almost 11 percent in the city last year, while 4 percent more drug-related cases were heard, the Shanghai Higher People's Court said yesterday.

This was in comparison with a drop in the total number of criminal cases heard by Shanghai courts in 2010.

Some 37 government officials, including five bureau directors, went on trial, as local courts handled 318 corruption cases - a 10.8 percent increase on 2009, said Ying Yong, president of the higher court.

They included Jiao Zichun, former chairman of state-owned Changjiang Computer Group, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for taking more than 2 million yuan (US$304,000) in bribes and embezzling 1.48 million yuan.

However, the figures for crimes such as murder, kidnapping and robbery drop 13.9 percent from a year earlier in court cases.

Xu Xiaoqing, a local lawyer and also a deputy to Shanghai People's Congress, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the increase in corruption cases should raise concerns. "It's alarming," said Xu.

He also partly attributed the fall of other criminal cases to tough measures during the six-month World Expo.

"But more police patrols on the streets cannot solve the corruption problem," added Xu.

Chen Xu, chief prosecutor of the Shanghai People's Procuratorate, said yesterday more than 79 million yuan from graft cases investigated last year had been recovered.

Other cases reported on the rise included drug-related crime and financial fraud and intellectual property infringement, which increased by 14.8 percent, Ying said.


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