A Party member and chief engineer for a State-owned enterprise in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, died in suspicious circumstances Tuesday while being held for investigation by the city's commission for discipline inspection.
The People's Procuratorate of Wenzhou said the man, Yu Qiyi, "suffered an accident" Monday night and died in hospital at 3:15 am on Tuesday. However, Yu's family slammed claims his death was accidental, insisting photos circulated online show he had bruises and appeared to have been bitten.
Yu, born in 1971, was the chief engineer of the Wenzhou Industry Investment Group.
He was being held under shuanggui, a procedure in which Party and government officials are asked to confess to wrongdoings for serious violations of Party discipline and State laws.
Yu was taken at Wenzhou Yongqiang International Airport on March 1 upon returning from Beijing, his father, Yu Zusheng, told the Global Times.
The commission for discipline inspection held Yu Qiyi on suspicion he broke the law during the approval process for a local land project, the father said. "We weren't able to get touch with him after he was taken. On Monday morning, an official from the commission told me my son would return home soon," Yu senior said.
On Monday night, staff from Yu Qiyi's company rang his family to inform them he had been hospitalized and his life hung in the balance. Family and friends rushed to the hospital, only to learn Yu junior had died and had bruising over much of his upper-body.
"The last time I saw my son was in Beijing during Spring Festival. I never expected he would die in such miserable circumstances," Yu senior told the Global Times.
Neither the local procuratorate nor discipline commission could be reached by the Global Times on Wednesday for comment.
The hospital listed the cause of Yu's death as drowning, noting he was unconscious when admitted for treatment, his father said.
Hospital administrators declined to elaborate on treatment given to Yu or the condition of his body when reached by the Global Times.
Family and friends refused to send Yu's body to a funeral parlor, demanding the discipline commission offer an explanation for his death.
However, no one from the discipline commission visited the family. Instead, 20 police officers came to the hospital and took Yu's body to the funeral parlor, Yu senior said.
"The body is here because it is essential to carry out a coronial inquest to determine the cause of death and whether Yu was abused," a staff member at the city's funeral parlor, surnamed Shan, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Yu senior said he hopes investigators will deliver a timely explanation, with the family not ruling out an independent autopsy and possible legal action.