What’s behind the suicide by hanging in his office and the desperate attempts of the provincial high court vice president?

At 3:00 p.m. yesterday, a body appeared in the Hubei Higher People’s Court (hereinafter referred to as the Hubei Higher People’s Court) complex of an office. It is the owner of this office – Hubei High Court Vice President Zhang Zhongbin, the deceased.

Soon, the police ruled out murder, Hubei High Court issued a notice confirming that Zhang Zhongbin was hanged to death.

A special time, a special identity, a special way of death …… news out, quickly triggered a lot of attention. As a senior official in the Hubei political and legal system, why should Zhang Zhongbin end his life in such a tragic way? What’s the story behind his suicide?

There is undoubtedly still a fog hanging over the answer. No matter what the reason, a bureau-level party leader cadres choose to hang himself in the office, will certainly cause a great negative impact. At the same time, through Zhang Zhongbin’s suicide, Hubei political and legal system of internal problems, also once again become the focus of public opinion.

The AB side of Zhang Zhongbin

According to public records, Zhang Zhongbin was born in 1967 in Songzhi, Hubei province, and is now 53 years old. Prior to his suicide, in addition to being vice-president of the Hubei High Court, he was also a member of the court’s party group, a member of the trial committee and a first-class senior judge.

In 1990, Zhang Zhongbin graduated from the Central South University of Politics and Law and received a master’s degree in criminal law. Thereafter, he worked in the Hubei political and legal system for a long time, first entering the Sha Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, and then transferred to the Jingzhou Intermediate People’s Court. During this period, he pursued an on-the-job doctorate in criminal law at Wuhan University and completed a training course for young and middle-aged cadres in Chicago, USA. Over the next decade, he moved through the judicial systems of Wuhan, Shiyan, and Yichang, and became vice president of the Hubei High Court in 2018.

During his tenure in Hubei municipal courts, Zhang Zhongbin was mainly responsible for criminal trials.In 2006, he was involved in the trial of “Henan’s first greed”, Zhengzhou City Party Secretary Wang Youjie in Jingzhou City Intermediate People’s Court, the verdict was that the death penalty was suspended for two years. This was the first high-ranking official at the provincial or ministerial level to preside over the trial since the establishment of the court, and the highest-ranking official to fall from grace in Henan province at the time.

From the resume, Zhang Zhongbin’s business skills appear to be well recognized by the political and legal system, and in the reports available on the Internet, his work is also “correct in attitude”. However, according to a person with knowledge of the court system, people in the court system have “a little bit of a problem” with him, a reporter told Global Times. A legal professional said that Zhang Zhongbin is usually “fierce and overbearing” and there seems to be “transfer of interests” with some local people.

Zhang Zhongbin’s accident, in the eyes of some local people, seems to be “forewarned”.

What are the hidden circumstances of Zhang Zhongbin’s death?

The police and the Hubei High Court have yet to give an explanation as to why Zhang Zhongbin chose to commit suicide. In its report, the Hubei High Court mentioned that “Zhang Zhongbin was suffering from a disease and had been taking medication for a long time”. However, according to sources, Zhang Zhongbin’s people do not agree with this statement, saying that his body is relatively healthy and he usually does not see the pain and suffering.

On October 16, he presided over the Hubei Province to promote the trial and execution work of the special struggle to eliminate black and white, and informed the main statistical indicators and ranking of the trial and execution of the special struggle to eliminate black and white of the court interviewed.

On the morning of Zhang Zhongbin’s suicide, he had been approached by relevant leaders in Hubei province, according to Caixin. By noon, when a friend invited him to join them for lunch, he was found to be uncharacteristically evasive and fidgety, and eventually declined the invitation. His body was found at 3 p.m. when Hubei High Court staff delivered documents.

In addition, according to reporter news, Hubei high court internal Zhang Zhongbin cause of death of the story, and even someone said he was “involved in corruption” and “act as an umbrella”.

This argument is no direct evidence, but Zhang Zhongbin suicide time point is really special.

According to “Hubei Daily” reported on October 14, the Hubei provincial party committee eighth round of inspection mobilization and deployment will be held. According to the plan, the fourth inspection group of the Hubei provincial party committee will inspect the Hubei high court where Zhang Zhongbin is located.

In addition, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and State Supervision Commission website news, the second central inspection group to inspect Hubei Province work mobilization has been held on October 12, the central inspection group will inspect two and a half months in Hubei.

The inspection work regulations stipulate that the central inspection group mainly accepts letters, telephone calls and visits from members of the leadership team and important positions of leading cadres in Hubei Province, focusing on reports of violations of political discipline, integrity discipline, mass discipline, work discipline and life discipline.

Political and legal system “scrapes the bottom of the barrel”

In recent years, the anti-corruption work of the national political and legal system is being carried out in an orderly manner, and the anti-corruption work of the Hubei political and legal system has become a focus of much attention.

Within the Hubei political and legal system, all three lines of public prosecution and law have successively had officials fall from grace.

In 2017, Cheng Ying, director of the Party Committee of Hubei Provincial Prison Administration and a cadre at the level of positive department, and Wu Shunfa, deputy director of Hubei Provincial Prison Administration and a cadre at the level of negative department, both fell from their horses.

On May 8, 2018, the Hubei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection reported that Wang Chen, president of the Wuhan Intermediate Hospital, was subject to disciplinary examination and supervisory investigation. Just four months later, Sun Guangjun, Secretary of the Party Committee and Procurator General of the Wuhan Municipal People’s Procuratorate, was again notified and investigated.

Wuhan law inspection double long almost at the same time was investigated, quickly triggered huge concern. At the time, it was asserted that this was just the tip of the iceberg of the Hubei judicial system’s “treatment of poison”.

In May 2019, Guo Tangyin, a former executive deputy director of the Hubei Provincial Public Security Department, was investigated. And his boss, the former deputy director of the former Standing Committee of the Hubei Provincial People’s Congress, the provincial public security department director Wu Yongwen has also fallen off the horse seven years ago.

The anti-corruption campaign against the Hubei political and legal system has continued strongly this year, and even some foreign provincial political and legal cadres have been found to have Hubei political and legal system work experience in their personal backgrounds after falling from their horses.

On September 23, 2020, Gong Daoan, deputy mayor of Shanghai and director of the city’s Public Security Bureau, was investigated. It is worth noting that Gong Daoan had previously worked in Hubei for a long time, and had held the position of chief of the provincial public security department’s economic investigation team.

Hubei’s political and legal system is facing a huge challenge as more and more officials of the political and legal system fall from their horses.

In February 2020, the central political and legal committee secretary-general Chen Xin was transferred to the “central to Hubei guidance group supervision group deputy head”, Wuhan ushered in the “long-lost old acquaintance”. Two years ago, Chen Xin was transferred to the central government from his position as deputy secretary of the Hubei Provincial Party Committee.

On October 16, the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs held the second exchange meeting on the pilot work of educational rectification for political and legal teams nationwide. Chen Xin stressed that the pilot areas in the second link of the pilot education and rectification to strengthen the ideological and policy guidance, dare to challenge the truth, good at touching the key issues, and continue to innovate initiatives to investigate and correct the problem has achieved good results. He also said, to “make persistent efforts to grasp the investigation and correction of problems link work, strictly in accordance with the law and discipline, in the removal of black sheep, rectify the malady of chronic diseases, to make efforts again, to ensure the successful completion of the pilot task, for next year to carry out the education and rectification of political and legal teams to provide a reference experience. The recent high-profile investigation of Xiao Zhuo, former director of the Supreme Prosecution Inspection Bureau (former director of the Office of the Leading Group for Inspection), also took place against this backdrop.

It can be seen, for the country, political and legal anti-corruption is like a sword out of the sheath, no matter how much it costs, is the national political and legal system must go through a “scraping the bone”.