Chinese prosecutors brought 30,547 people to court last year to face charges of organizing, leading and participating in mafia-style gangs, almost three times as many as in 2018.
Zhang Jun, prosecutor-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, said in its work report, delivered to the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing on Monday that another 67,689 people were prosecuted last year for involvement in other types of criminal gangs, a third more than in the previous year.
The top procuratorate and other central authorities issued eight guideline documents last year to push forward a special three-year crackdown on gang-related crimes that was launched in 2018. It also directly supervised the handling of 107 major cases, Zhang said.
He said the procuratorial organs insist on the principle that no organized crime offender is spared and no innocent person is wrongly detained. All procuratorates at the provincial level have been told to supervise cases involving major gang crimes anywhere in their jurisdiction.
Prosecutors dismissed 9,007 cases of both types of gang-related crime transferred to them by the police last year, but they also discovered another 2,148 cases the police had not realized were gang-related when they transferred them.
Zhang said procuratorates across the country prosecuted 1,385 people last year for providing shelter to and protecting gang-related criminals, almost four times as many as in 2018.
China's procuratorates, at all levels, approved the arrest of 3,751 people and prosecuted 2,521 for criminal offenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak from February to April.
The courts handled 2,829 cases of public interest litigation involving the supervision and control of protective materials, the disposal of medical waste, and wildlife protection.
According to the report, the SPP, together with other relative departments, issued a guideline to call for severe punishment for crimes that harm the pandemic prevention measures and control and disrupt medical workers. Crimes of obstructing the pandemic control at border areas are also urged to be punished severely to prevent the risk of cases being imported from overseas.
The procuratorate protects the lawful rights and interests of people involved, he said. For suspects who are infected with COVID-19, their medical treatment is guaranteed. A lenient policy is adopted for people who committed minor crimes concerning the pandemic control. Procuratorates across the country dismissed the arrest of 576 people and decided not to prosecute 117 people in accordance with the law, he added.