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Harder to get lighter sentence

CHINA has adopted stricter rules for handing out lighter punishment to corrupt officials.

The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Thursday issued a joint circular about penalties for people who turn themselves in or cooperate with investigations in corruption cases.

Surveys by the country's two top judicial organs found that the rate of giving lighter sentences or exemptions from punishment to criminals had been too high in the past few years, according to the circular. No specific figures were released.

"This showed that the recognition of what can lead to lighter punishment is not properly standardized," the circular said.

Only those who turned themselves in and confessed all their crimes to police before an investigation began, could be recognized as making major contributions to cases, according to the joint circular.

Those who turned themselves in after hearing from the police that they were under investigation, or did not confess all their crimes, would not be considered for lighter punishment, the circular said.

Only those who volunteered to return all illicitly gained money and goods before the police made a request for their return could be recognized as making contributions to cases, according to the circular.


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