China names errant law enforcement officials for the first time

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 11, 2014 10:18 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has publicly identified for the first time police officers, judges and prosecutors who violate disciplinary rules in a bid to address widespread discontent over officials that undermine the rule of law, state media said.

The move comes as President Xi Jinping wages a war on corruption to win back public confidence in the face of a seemingly endless stream of embarrassing scandals.

A police officer in eastern Shandong province who drove a police vehicle after drinking and a judge in the central province of Hubei who "had an affair and maintained improper sexual relations with a female lawyer as well as received bribes" were among the first 10 people named by state news agency Xinhua late on Tuesday.

The Communist Party's Commission for Political and Legal Affairs Central Committee said that "all staff of the political and legal system ... must take a zero tolerance attitude toward disciplinary and legal violations", Xinhua reported.

Xinhua also cited the commission as saying that it would publicize typical cases throughout the year and welcomed supervision by the public.

"Law enforcement staff usually break the rules while they are fully aware that they have done wrong, and the negative impact of such cases on society is much greater," Zhou Hanhua, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying.

These cases damage the image of governments and law enforcement organs, posing a grave threat to justice, Zhou said.

The government is trying to reform the legal system, in which rule of law and independence of the police and judiciary are given mere lip service and courts answer to party authorities.

The government has sought to curtail everything from bribery and gift-giving to lavish banquets, aiming to assuage public anger over graft and extravagance by some officials.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ron Popeski)