Perhaps we need such a law in TZ


Jul 10, 2006
Chinese corruption law targets lovers and families of officials
Children, spouses and lovers could be jailed for more than seven years as scams reach new levels of sophistication

Chinese authorities could put the lovers, spouses and children of corrupt officials on trial under new rules, a state newspaper reported today.

The draft law reflects the government's pledge to curb a growing cause of public resentment as well as the increasing sophistication of schemes to cream off public money or take bribes.

"Spouses and children of and/or people who have 'intimate relations' with corrupt officials could be jailed for more than seven years if they are found guilty of taking advantage of such officials' positions to get bribes or make money illegally," China Daily said.

Almost all ministerial-level officials investigated by the country's senior prosecutions body have had at least one extramarital relationship, according to the paper. Most of the lovers used their relationships to make money illegally.

Last year, a court in north China sentenced to death a former senior official who murdered his mistress with a car bomb after tiring of her demands for money.

Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said corruption was becoming more serious. "Officials are actually taking less money. This regulation aims to get rid of this concealed problem — the relatives of the official, and the improper transactions they participate in," he said.

Hu said amending the law would help tackle the problem but that further measures were needed. He called for "sunshine finance", requiring officials to make their property details and income public, and said laws were needed to protect whistleblowers and allow citizens to sue corrupt officials.

The draft law was submitted to the standing committee of the people's congress yesterday.

China Daily said retired officials who used their influence to make money illegally could face punishment, and that officials who could not account for large assets would face up to 10 years in jail instead of the current five.

Ren Jianming, director of the clean government research centre at Tsinghua University, told the paper that the maximum sentence should be raised even further, to 20 or 30 years.

This month, a corrupt official from Chongqing who amassed £1.7m in bribes was condemned to death after bad plumbing betrayed him. A policeman investigating a resident's complaint about water dripping from the apartment overhead found a leaking toilet and eight waterlogged cardboard boxes packed full of cash.

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