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Listen up now: eavesdropping is on its way

[ 2009-11-25 14:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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Wiretapping and eavesdropping should be used in investigations of corruption, a prosecutor has said.

Zhu Xiaoqing, deputy procurator-general at the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said current laws about investigative methods are not elaborate enough.

Speaking at a seminar at Renmin University of China in Beijing, he said."After legal reform and legislation, measures including monitoring and wiretapping will probably be introduced into investigation of such cases,"

Beijing-based lawyer Zhang Kai said such measures have already been used in many cases even though there's no clear legal basis for them.

"If they want to legalize such measures, they should set limits and make it clear what kind of cases can be investigated in that way, and what time the suspect should be wiretapped,"

Zhu Wenqi, a law professor from Renmin University of China, is against the adoption of such measures, which he thinks are "fundamentally wrong".

He told China Daily: "The current law does not specify whether it is legal and I think they are illegal measures as they are offences to people's privacy."

"I think people's personal freedoms should not be violated under any condition.”

The current law only stipulates that "questioning by torture, threatening, tempting, and other illegal methods are forbidden to be used in gathering evidence".

Prosecutor Zhu Xiaoqing said that as anti-corruption cases are becoming more and more complicated, the adoption of special measures in investigations is winning approval within the procuratorate.

In addition to wiretaps and eavesdropping, modern methods such as lie-detector tests, hypnosis, mail checking and satellite locating are also included.

Lawyer Zhu Wenqi said the use of such measures is widely disputed in a lot of countries.

He said: "The United States legalized those measures after the 9/11 terrorist attack, but it is still disputed there. The United Nations court doesn't recognize evidence gathered through those methods."

According to the procuratorate, more than 9,000 officials were found guilty of corruption in the first six months of the year, including embezzlement, bribery, dereliction of duty and rights violations.

The procuratorate also said in July that it would put more effort into cracking down on corruption and targeting officials who bend the law for the benefit of friends or relatives.

It will also attempt to uncover negligence, the abuse of judicial power and the shielding of gangs, as well as the covering up of serious crimes and infringements upon human rights.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Listen up now: eavesdropping is on its way

About the broadcaster:

Listen up now: eavesdropping is on its way

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.