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Chinese Media: Official Drowned During Corruption Questioning

  • VOA News

Yu Qiyi poses for a photo at an exhibition held at a hotel in Beijing. Yu had a promising career in a government investment company when he disappeared on his way home from a business trip March 1, 2013, photo taken Sept. 2, 2012.

Yu Qiyi poses for a photo at an exhibition held at a hotel in Beijing. Yu had a promising career in a government investment company when he disappeared on his way home from a business trip March 1, 2013, photo taken Sept. 2, 2012.

Chinese officials said a Communist Party member was drowned after having his head held under water by investigators who were trying to get him to confess to corruption.

State media said six Communist Party graft investigators will soon stand trial on intentional injury charges related to the death of Yu Qiyi, an engineer at the Wenzhou Industry Investment Group.

Officials believe the investigators repeatedly dunked the 42-year-old Yu's head in a tub of icy water in April in an attempt to get him to confess to suspected crimes related to a land deal.

Yu died shortly after being taken to the hospital. His death was originally ruled an accident. But an autopsy later revealed that he died because of respiratory failure.

His relatives have published pictures online showing what they say are Yu's tortured body, which was covered in bruises. His wife, Wu Qian, told state media that he also lost significant weight during his 38 days in detention.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a high-profile anti-corruption campaign since he took power late last year, warning that rampant graft could threaten the party's grip on power. Xi has promised to go after both high-ranking and lower level officials who are corrupt.

On Tuesday, state media announced that Jiang Jiemin was fired as head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission because of suspected "serious disciplinary violations." In China, the charge almost always refers to corruption.

On Sunday, the official Xinhua News Agency said Jiang was being investigated for alleged graft linked to the country's biggest oil company, the state-run China National Petroleum Corp., where the 57-year-old had formerly been a chairman.
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