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Probe into legal research trip

AN online post which alleged six court officials spent nearly 500,000 yuan (US$73,149.5) of public funds for an 11-day overseas trip is being investigated.
The supervisory department of the Guangzhou Maritime Court in south China's Guangdong Province is investigating and though the names of the court and officials involved have been obscured in the post, Netizens believe it refers to the Guangzhou court.

An unnamed court official told today's China Youth Daily the supervisory department is still investigating and will publish its conclusions at an appropriate time.

The official said there were records of the trip and these records have passed the court authority's assessment.

The story began on June 3 when an email detailing the trip was published online, The China Youth Daily report said.

More than 10 documents, including the applications and work reports, were attached.

The documents revealed that six senior court officials, including the court's director, deputy director and chief judge, visited South Africa, Egypt and Turkey from January 7 to 18 this year and stopped over at the United Arab Emirates.

The group intended to research the laws in these countries and way they handled cases involving oil leaks at sea, according to the application for approval for the trip.

But in their reports, there was little discussion about the professional aspects and nearly half of the reports were packed with geographical introductions to the countries.

The Netizen alleged the trip cost more than 480,000 yuan, or 82,000 yuan per head.

The post sparked fierce criticism from Netizens who described the trip as corrupt.

Last year, officials in Xinyu City of Jiangxi Province and Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province were accused of traveling overseas using public funds.

The Xinyu group spent 350,000 yuan on 11 members in a 13-day trip and the Wenzhou team spent 650,000 yuan for 23 officials on a 21-day tour.


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