Fri, Aug 24, 2018 - Page 6 News List

China offers leniency for suspects who surrender

Reuters, BEIJING

China yesterday called on groups and people outside the nation to encourage graft suspects who have fled overseas to give themselves up, and promised leniency for those who surrender.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has waged war on deep-seated corruption since assuming office six years ago, including going after those who have fled abroad.

Authorities in April 2015 published a list of 100 “most-wanted” suspects it believes to be hiding overseas, many in the US, Canada and Australia.

More than half have already come back to China, some voluntarily.

Five departments and ministries in a joint statement carried on the Web site of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said that until the end of this year, they would be offering lighter sentences to those who give themselves up, hand over evidence and return pilfered funds.

Relatives and friends of suspects are encouraged to persuade them to return to China, and the notice made specific mention of those outside the nation, although it did not explicitly call for foreign nationals or organizations to get involved.

“Encourage and protect the broad masses of the people and relevant overseas organizations and individuals to actively report, mobilize and persuade” those abroad to surrender, the agencies said.

Those who provide useful information would be rewarded, the statement added.

China has tried to get greater help from Western nations to arrest and deport corruption suspects, but has upset some foreign governments by covertly sending security officials to carry out investigations on foreign soil.

Many Western nations have been reluctant to help with the Chinese campaign or to sign extradition treaties, unwilling to send people back to a nation where rights groups say mistreatment of criminal suspects remains a problem.

Some Western nations also say that China is often unwilling to provide proof of the crimes that would be acceptable to their courts.

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