BEIJING: Six Chinese corruption investigators went on trial yesterday for “intentional injury”, a court said, after they allegedly drowned an official in a probe.
Yu Qiyi, chief engineer of a state-owned company in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, died in April after the investigators stripped him naked and repeatedly held him down in a bathtub as they attempted to extort a confession to corruption, according to previous Chinese media reports.
Relatives also found multiple bruises on the 42-year-old’s body after his death. He had been detained since early March over suspected wrongdoings in a land deal, they said.
The investigators, five of them reportedly from the ruling Communist Party’s discipline inspection department and the other one a local prosecutor, were accused of intentional injury and went on trial yesterday, the court in Quzhou said.
But Pu Zhiqiang, a Yu family lawyer, complained that he and another representative were denied the right to question the accused in court and were refused entry to the afternoon session.
More senior officials should be held responsible for Yu’s death, he said. One of the defendants told the court that the decision to use the water technique had been made by a superior, who later ordered all the accused to take responsibility and collude in providing identical testimony, he added.
China’s new leadership has mounted a high-profile anti-corruption drive since Xi Jinping took over as party chief, warning that corruption could destroy the party and threatening to expose high-ranking officials, or “tigers”, along with low-level “flies”.