BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- China is constantly improving its laws to prohibit the exacting of evidence through torture or other illegal means by judicial officials, a white paper said Tuesday.
To improve the investigation and questioning system is a prerequisite for building the rule of law, said the white paper "Judicial Reform in China" issued by the State Council Information Office.
It is also an important method for strengthening judicial supervision and protecting the legal rights and interests of criminal suspects in accordance with the law, the white paper said.
The Criminal Procedure Law amended in 2012 clearly stipulates that no person may be forced to prove his or her own guilt, and no criminal suspects or defendants may be forced to confess, the white papers said.
The newly amended law makes it clear that confessions by a suspect or a defendant obtained through extortion or other illegal means and witness' testimony and victim's statements obtained through the use of violence, threats or other illegal means should be excluded from evidence.
If physical or documentary evidence is collected in ways violating legal procedures and severely affecting judicial justice, such evidence should be excluded if no correction or justification is provided, according to the new law.
The new Criminal Procedure Law, approved by China's top legislature in March, also stipulates the specific procedure for exclusion of such evidence.
Once evidence that should be excluded is found by public security organs, people's procuratorates or people's courts during the course of investigation, prosecution review or trial, such evidence should be excluded, according to the new law.
The white paper said China is improving the system of detention, taking a person into custody after arrest, and interrogation. A person who has been detained must be sent to a house of detention within 24 hours. When a person is arrested, he or she must be taken into custody immediately in a house of detention, where the interrogation shall be conducted.
The white paper said the practice of recording and videotaping investigation and questioning processes is widely adopted in China.
With advances in the IT-based law enforcement by judicial organs, interrogation, detention, court trials and activities happening in places of custody are recorded and video taped, it said.
For crimes punishable by life imprisonment or death and other serious crimes, audio or video recording of the interrogation process is mandatory, and the recordings should cover the entire process of the questioning and should be complete, said the white paper.