Chief Justice Zhou Qiang delivers a work report of the Supreme People's Court at a plenary meeting of the NPC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 12, 2019. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/chinadaily.com.cn]
Chinese courts at all levels concluded 28,000 graft cases involving embezzlement, bribery and dereliction of duty in 2018. These cases involved 33,000 people.
Among them were 18 officials at or above ministerial level.
Another 2,466 people were convicted of offering bribes last year, according to the annual work report of the Supreme People’s Court.
In 2018, procuratorates around the country prosecuted 32 former officials at the provincial-level and above, including Sun Zhengcai and Wang Sanyun.
The top court also issued an announcement together with the National Commission of Supervision to push corrupt fugitives to return to China to face justice, the report said.
China’s top court last year heard 34,794 cases and concluded 31,883, up by 22.1 and 23.5 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Local courts at all levels handled 28 million lawsuits and concluded over 25 million, up 8.8 and 10.6 percent, respectively.
The number of concluded intellectual property cases reached 288,000, an increase of 41.8 percent year-on-year, according to the work report.
A tribunal for IPR-related cases was set up at the SPC last year to further strengthen the judicial protection of IPR.
More efforts were put into the construction of the intellectual property courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as 19 tribunals for IPR-related cases to improve the legal environment for technological innovation, it said.
Chinese courts at all levels investigated and punished 1,064 court staff for abusing the judging and enforcement power last year.
A total of 369 court staff were investigated and punished for their behaviors against the spirit of the eight-point regulation on improving Party and government conduct.
Chinese courts concluded 15,000 foreign-related civil and commercial cases of first instance in 2018.
The SPC set up international commercial courts in the cities of Shenzhen and Xi'an last year, among other measures, to serve the Belt and Road Initiative and the all-round opening-up.
Chinese courts at all levels took strong actions against crimes threatening state security last year, a work report of the Supreme People's Court says Tuesday.
Such crimes included inciting the subversion of state power, inciting the split of the country and espionage.
During the year, courts across the country also worked with relevant departments to issue guidelines on busting terrorism and extremism, and punished crimes that involved advocating terrorism and using extremist methods to undermine the implementation of laws, the report says.
Making headway in the campaign to combat organized crime and root out local mafia, Chinese courts concluded 5,489 related cases in 2018, which involved 29,000 criminals.
The courts concluded 2,204 cases involving crimes of environmental pollution.
The top procuratorate has "based its work on people's increasing demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment in a new era," Zhang said.
Procuratorates across the country had also strengthened judicial protection of IPR last year, having supervised the handling of 32 major IPR-related cases.
A total of 8,325 people were prosecuted by procuratorates for criminal acts such as infringement of patent rights and trademark rights in 2018, up by 16.3 percent on a yearly basis.
Prosecutors handled work-related criminal cases transferred by supervisory commissions involving 16,092 suspects in 2018. Among them, 9,802 have been prosecuted.
Addressing pollution, China prosecuted 42,195 people for damaging environment and resources last year, up 21 percent year on year.
The country initiated a special crackdown against organized crimes to better safeguard social stability, a report showed on Tuesday.
Around 350 people were charged for serving as "protection umbrella" for such criminals.
While handling such cases, prosecutors maintained the principle of "no one is let off, no one is wronged", and struck down 9,154 cases filed by police as gang-related crimes, the report said.
On the other side, prosecutors charged 2,117 gang-related crimes which were not classified as serious offense by police, according to the report.
"The aim is to adopt a people-oriented approach and work hard to ensure that every case is handled with fairness and justice," the report said.
In 2018, prosecutors rejected arrest warrants of 168,458 people and dropped charges against 34,398 people due to insufficient evidence or their actions failed to constitute a crime, up by 15.9 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, year-on-year.
Prosecutors also made 58,744 written notifications to remind police not to obtain evidence through illegal means or adopt wrong coercive measures, an increase of 22.8 percent over the year 2017, according to the report.
During the same time, prosecutors appealed against 8,504 court verdicts which they considered wrong, up by 7.2 percent year-on-year. Subsequently, courts changed verdicts or ordered a retrial for 5,244 cases, an increase of 8.4 percent, the report said.