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Chinese court official dies in detention

BEIJING — A senior official at a city court in central China died under mysterious circumstances Tuesday, his body bruised after 11 days in the custody of antigraft investigators of the ruling Communist Party, his family said.

Jia Jiuxiang, who was vice president of the Sanmenxia City Intermediate People’s Court in Henan Province, is the second case in two weeks to surface of an official dying while being held in the party’s secret detention system, which is not regulated by law.

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Jia’s relatives say they suspect he was tortured in detention.

His brother-in-law, Zhou Qiang, said Jia was detained April 12 by the local party’s discipline inspection committee and turned up in a local hospital Monday night and died Tuesday morning after attempts to save him failed.

Jia’s wife, who was allowed to see the body, said his face had turned blue and his body was covered in bruises, Zhou said.

‘‘We think that in handling the case, the discipline inspection committee used cruel tactics against him,’’ Zhou said. He said that Jia, 49, had been in good health.

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