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Saturday 16 December 2017

Chinese judge feared he would die in interrogation centre

Currently, foreign carmakers must form joint ventures in China to make cars locally, but overseas component makers are not subject to any ownership requirements
Currently, foreign carmakers must form joint ventures in China to make cars locally, but overseas component makers are not subject to any ownership requirements

Tom Phillips in Shanghai

A Chinese judge has reportedly divorced his wife and gone on the run after escaping from a Communist Party interrogation centre where he feared he might die.

Zhang Chunsheng, a judge from Mengcheng county in the eastern province of Anhui, has spent almost a month in hiding since he fled anti-corruption investigators who had been questioning him about alleged crimes last month.

Mr Zhang's story sheds light on the harsh and shadowy methods employed by the Communist Party's internal investigators as they attempt to root out corrupt members.

His alleged ordeal began on December 17 when he was told that the local disciplinary committee, which handles investigations into Communist Party members, wanted to "talk".

The following day he presented himself to local officials and was taken into what he called the "shuanggui room", a 10-foot square chamber with sponge-padded walls containing a stone stool and a rectangular table. What followed was a sustained, six-day campaign of mental and physical abuse, Mr Zhang claimed. Working in pairs, eight interrogators took it in turns to question him, "almost non-stop, for 24 hours".

Mr Zhang, who said he was not involved in corrupt activities, was given a piece of paper and a pen and told to write out a list of his crimes. Against his will, he did so. He escaped on December 24 when one of his guards dozed off and the other was not to be seen. The judge fled through the compound's iron gates.

Since going into hiding, Judge Zhang has remained constantly on the move.

It was reported that the judge had decided to divorce his wife, "so (his) family would not be involved in the case."

Communist Party officials refuted Judge Zhang's account of his supposed ordeal. Sun Tonglin, the secretary of Mengcheng's disciplinary committee, said the judge was never deprived of his "personal freedom," Mr Sun insisted, "(otherwise he) couldn't have escaped". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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