Property discounts: ‘I was ashamed to ask’
Editor’s note: Corruption Fight Is Always Underway, a documentary produced by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and CCTV, continues to broadcast the stories of former senior officials accused of corruption during the country’s anti-graft drive. The series, which began last Monday, consists of eight episodes over nine days (Saturday was excluded) at 8 pm on CCTV-1. The interviews were conducted while the former officials were detained, but before any court action.
Lyu was investigated in November last year for suspected violations of the Party’s disciplinary rules. Having been detained in January, she is now facing bribery charges. The first highranking official in Beijing investigated since the 18th Party Congress in 2012, Lyu was accused of abusing her power for the benefit of others and accepting bribes.
The investigation showed that she bought five houses at “internal prices” — 20 million yuan ($3 million) below market value for three of the five properties under her name or that of relatives — from an enterprise to which she had given favorable treatment. Lyu said in the documentary that she preferred not to knowthe exact amount of the discount at the time of purchase.
Wang Han, awatchdog official quoted in the documentary, said: “She felt like the enterprise grew under her cultivation, so it was normal to provide her a house, and she took it for granted. It’s your job and duty to help the enterprise, but if the benefit falls to you personally, you’ve blurred the boundary between public and personal benefit.”
The documentary also detailed the small cliques that were built around Lyu’s hobbies, including tennis and wine tasting. Such cliques are against the Party’s disciplinary regulations, along with living a luxurious lifestyle.
“I was embarrassed and ashamed to ask about exactly how much discount they gave me on the houses. I never asked about that. I didn’t dare to ask, really. I felt like I was kind of afraid of facing it.”