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Former Harbin vice-mayor kills himself
( 2004-01-12 22:32) (China Daily)

Former vice-mayor of Harbin, Zhu Shengwen, jumped out of a toilet window and died hours later in a hospital near the end of last year, a website revealed Monday.

A policeman could not hold Zhu, who weighed 92 kilograms, but merely dragged his pants down to his knees when Zhu suddenly rushed to the window in the alleged suicide attempt on December 29, according to northeast.com.cn news.

Zhu, 57, was jailed in 1998 for taking huge bribes as vice-mayor of Harbin, capital city of the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

His suicide was regarded as "inconceivable" because his 17-year sentence had been reduced to four years for good behaviour.

Zhu had served as an English teacher since he was transferred to the 12th imprisonment region of the Harbin Prison in June.

The website reported that Zhu had expressed satisfaction with the prison environment because he could give full play to his language skills, read books and newspapers, as well as do some drawings and calligraphies.

However, in mid-December, prison guards found Zhu in a deep depression, absent-minded and often talking to himself.

Zhu's wife also worried about him.

"Both me and my wife do not have jobs. How can we live our lives after I am released?" Zhu told the prison police.

According to the web report, Zhu's health was poor. He had been hospitalized 10 times before December.

He had been diagnosed with hypertension, coronary heart disease, angina pectoris and diabetes at a hospital in Harbin on December 25. He was granted bail to receive medical treatment.

On December 29, Zhu was escorted to the provincial judicial test centre to give expert testimony at his bail hearing.

While in a toilet room at the centre, Zhu suddenly rushed to the open window and jumped out.

Zhu fell from the 9-metre-high window and hit the ground head first.

His pulse had stopped on the spot and he was confirmed dead at a nearby hospital half an hour later.

Zhu was in charge of the economy and trade as vice mayor of Harbin, a city of 9 million people.

He was the former director of the business department at the Heilongjiang Commercial College. He had studied in Italy and earned an MBA at the Milan Business School.

During an interview with a Chinese magazine on December 11, Zhu said he regretted giving up teaching to work at the government.

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