Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Chongqing blitz on triad crime ends with 3,348 snared

Bo repeatedly drew attention to the reported support of Zhou Yongkang, head of the Central Commission of Political Science and Law, during the campaign, but he seemingly failed to secure any new endorsement of the sweeping crackdown from the central government in Beijing. Apart from Zhou, there have been no state media reports of any of the other eight members of the top decision-making Politburo Standing Committee either visiting the city or voicing support for Bo over the past eight months.

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Guanyu 道 said...

Chongqing blitz on triad crime ends with 3,348 snared

Choi Chi-yuk
02 March 2010

The southwestern municipality of Chongqing has wrapped up an eight-month crackdown on triad-related crime that led to the detention of thousands of suspects.

At a meeting on Sunday, Liu Guanglei, the city’s top party official overseeing law enforcement, said 3,348 people were snared for “connections with underground activities” and “63 criminal syndicates and a number of their protectors were crushed”, the Chongqing Evening News reported.

Six prominent individuals, including Chongqing Public Security Bureau chief Wang Lijun, were named Heroes of the Chongqing People for their contributions to the crackdown, while another 455 received merits for their efforts in the campaign.

Giving no details, the report said the meeting marked the end of the campaign and beginning of preparations for what to do next.

Expressing his gratitude to the “heroes”, Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai said that up to 14 major triad groups had been smashed, clearing the way for better development of the municipality.

However, some observers have criticised Bo for seeking fame and political advancement at the expense of the rule of law in the campaign to wipe out local crime syndicates.

Former People’s Daily deputy editor Zhou Ruijin wrote in an article carried yesterday by jcrb.com - a news portal affiliated with the mainland’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate - that Beijing-based lawyer Li Zhuang might have erred but the Chongqing authorities’ violation of the principle of procedural justice was even more serious.

Li was jailed for 18 months early last month for falsifying evidence for his client, triad boss Gong Gangmo, during a pre-trial meeting in custody.

Li was one of a handful of Beijing lawyers who rushed to Chongqing to defend triad bosses or fallen officials after most of the municipality’s lawyers succumbed to political pressure and excused themselves from giving legal advice to the defendants.

“For instance, Li was convicted of instigation because he kept blinking his eyes at Gong,” Zhou wrote. “The judgment was based on verbal evidence provided by Gong, one-sidedly, but he did not appear in the court. Meanwhile, there might have been an infringement of the amended Lawyer Law when the police monitored the meeting between Li and Gong.”

In an apparent attempt to defend himself and the operation he initiated, Bo praised subordinates involved in the crackdown for avoiding injustice and any excessive political implications while ensuring that no suspects were let go and that the tone of the campaign was just right.

Bo repeatedly drew attention to the reported support of Zhou Yongkang, head of the Central Commission of Political Science and Law, during the campaign, but he seemingly failed to secure any new endorsement of the sweeping crackdown from the central government in Beijing. Apart from Zhou, there have been no state media reports of any of the other eight members of the top decision-making Politburo Standing Committee either visiting the city or voicing support for Bo over the past eight months.

Bo also rejected criticism that the campaign had meant sacrificing prosperity, stressing that the eradication of local triad societies had made a great contribution to the city’s economic development.

According to official municipality figures, Chongqing achieved economic growth of 14.9 per cent last year, the third highest in the nation.