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August 20, 2009

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Swoop on gang crime bears fruit

MORE than 14,000 suspects were involved in gang crimes in China over the past three years, China Central Television reported yesterday.

Police investigated more than 1,200 gang crime cases, dealt with more than 100,000 criminal cases, and confiscated almost 2,600 guns.

The country launched a nationwide campaign to crack down on gang crimes in February 2006.

The TV report said chief procurators at various levels paid more attention to cases of dereliction of duty, in which officials became "protective umbrellas" of gangsters.

Prosecutors had investigated more than 160 suspects in more than 130 work-related criminal cases, according to the report.

Supreme People's Court Vice President Zhang Jun told a teleconference on August 9 that public security order was "not optimistic" during the global economic downturn.

Gao Jinghong, director of the SPC office on gang crime, said more than 3,000 suspects in 700 cases had been sentenced to long terms of imprisonment and even death.

Zhang, who was in charge of the campaign in cracking down on gang crimes, said courts should apply the policy of "tempering justice with mercy."

The court should consider lenient sentences "if suspects turn themselves in, admit crimes or have played less important roles in gangs."


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