Tue, September 14, 2010
China > Mainland

China orders inquiries of suspects to prevent derailing of justice

2010-09-14 15:19:25 GMT2010-09-14 23:19:25 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) and the Ministry of Public Security jointly released a set of rules on Tuesday ordering separate inquiries on suspects in a bid to check evidence obtained during investigations and prevent miscarriages of justice.

The rules, entitled "Regulations on the Inquiring of Suspects during Interrogation and Arresting Procedures," instruct procuratorate organs to conduct inquests to listen to what suspects and their lawyers have to say when uncertainties exist in cases in which suspects have facts about a crime and whether it is necessary to arrest them.

An inquiry is also necessary when a case is a major public concern and complicated, if the suspects are minors or clues indicate that confessions might have been obtained through violence and torture.

"Generally, an inquiry should also be granted if requested by a suspect," said the document.

"It should be noted that the rules only specify four conditions under which an inquiry must be conducted. Generally speaking, local procuratorate organs should conduct inquiries for as many cases as they can," said an unnamed SPP official.

The official stressed that such an inquiry was different from an interrogation during an investigation procedure, as its goal was to check and confirm facts and evidence obtained during an investigation.

According to the regulations, at least two procuratorate staff should be present when conducting an inquiry, and at least one of them should hold the position of prosecutor.

While urging interrogators to be fully familiar with related cases, the rules order necessary corrections to cases if they find that an investigation involves illegal actions.

"A case should be transferred to related departments for further management in a timely manner if violence or torture can be confirmed during evidence and confession collecting," said the rules.

According to the official, ideas and opinions of a suspect's lawyer should be carefully reviewed and, when necessary, interrogators should have a face-to-face talk with the lawyer.

"That will help procuratorate organs issue permission for arrests, prevent miscarriages of justice, and ensure that innocent people are not troubled," the official added.

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