Jiangsu Procuratorate Experiments with Interviewing Suspects Before Approving Arrests

March 13, 2005

According to an article published in the Procuratorial Daily on January 4, a local procuratorate in Fuzhou, Jiangsu province has made interviews of criminal suspects a mandatory part of the arrest review process. Under the PRC Criminal Procedure Law, public security organs may detain and investigate a suspect, but afterwards must apply to the procuratorate for approval of a formal arrest. Procuratorates review the case file in approving an arrest but, as the article suggests, do not typically interview the suspects themselves. Fuzhou procurators claim that they have declined to approve 23 arrests in the first year the policy was implemented and that the interviews have helped them to avoid wrongful arrests. They also argue that the interviews have helped them to uncover and rectify 29 cases involving illegal behavior (including extended detention, torture, and violations of criminal procedure) by public security authorities.