| Xinhua | 2012-9-24 9:23:58
A Chinese court on Monday sentenced Wang Lijun to 15 years in prison and deprived him of his political rights for one year after finding him guilty of bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking.
Wang, the former vice mayor and police chief of Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, was charged with several crimes and received a combined punishment for all offenses, according to a verdict announced by the Chengdu City Intermediate People's Court in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Wang received seven years in prison for the charge of bending the law for selfish ends, two years in prison and deprivation of his political rights for one year for the charge of defection, two years in prison for the power abuse charge and nine years in prison for the charge of bribe-taking. He received a combined punishment of 15 years in prison and deprivation of his political rights for one year.
Wang stated to the court that he would not appeal the sentence.
The court found that on November 15, 2011, British national Neil Heywood was killed in his hotel room in Chongqing.
Despite knowing that Bogu Kailai was a major suspect in Heywood's murder and having obtained important related evidence, Wang, then chief of Chongqing's Public Security Bureau, bent the law by selecting Guo Weiguo, then deputy chief of the bureau and a close friend of both Wang and Bogu Kailai, to take charge of the case.
Wang concealed from police the fact that Bogu Kailai had recounted her poisoning of Heywood to him, as well as he hid a recording of her recount.
Wang accepted Guo's verdict that Heywood had died from drinking too much, although facts ran contrary to Guo's claim. Wang also offered Bogu Kailai a video recording that showed her at the crime scene on the night of Heywood's death in an attempt to prevent her from being prosecuted.
After Wang had conflicts with Bogu Kailai and as the conflicts began to escalate, Wang told personnel at the Chongqing Public Security Bureau to re-collect, sort through and carefully keep the evidence from Heywood's case. Wang also provided them with the recording in Bogu Kailai admitted poisoning Heywood.
On February 7, 2012, Wang reported to relevant state organs that Bogu Kailai was suspected of intentionally killing Heywood and offered relevant evidence and materials. Police re-investigated and cracked the case in accordance with law.
In early February 2012, Wang's positions and duties were adjusted and his close aids were illegally interrogated.
Feeling that he was in danger, Wang entered the US Consulate General in Chengdu without permission at 2:31 pm on February 6 and asked the US side for political asylum.
Wang left the US diplomatic mission of his own volition at 11:35 pm on February 7 after being persuaded by the Chinese side.
From January 2010 to February 2012, when he served as director of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, Wang instructed the bureau's staff to use technical investigation measures against many people without obtaining legal approval from authorities, an act that severely undermined the socialist rule of law and infringed on citizens' legitimate rights and interests.
From September 2008 to November 2009, Wang, as the executive deputy chief and then chief of Chongqing Municipality Public Security Bureau, accepted requests from Xu Ming, board chairman of the Dalian Shide Group Co., Ltd. and Yu Junshi, legal representative of Dalian Shiyuan Trade Co., Ltd. and instructed law enforcement departments to illegally release four suspects who were being detained.
During that period, Wang received two apartments in Beijing worth 2.85 million yuan ($449,583) bought by Xu and received a total of 200,000 yuan from Yu to cover the rent for Wang's villa in Chongqing. Most of the property and money involved in the bribery has been reclaimed.
After being arrested, Wang produced important clues that exposed serious offenses committed by others. These clues played a key role in the investigation of other cases.
The court held that Wang Lijun, as then-chief of Chongqing's Public Security Bureau, knew perfectly well that someone was under serious suspicion of intentional homicide, bent the law for selfish ends and deliberately covered up the case so that the relevant person would not be held legally responsible. His behavior constituted the crime of bending the law for selfish ends and the circumstances were especially serious.
Wang, acting as a state functionary, left his post without permission and defected to a foreign country's consulate while performing his official duties. His behavior constituted the crime of defection and the circumstances were serious.
Wang abused power and illegally used technical investigation measures against many people. These acts severely infringed upon citizens' legitimate rights and interests and undermined the socialist rule of law. His acts constituted the crime of power abuse.
Wang, acting as a state functionary, took advantage of his position to seek interests for others and illegally receive property and money from others. His acts constituted the crime of bribe-taking. He sought illegitimate interests for others after taking bribes. The circumstances were vile.
Wang later ordered his subordinates in the Chongqing police to refile the case of the intentional homicide involving Bogu Kailai, as well as re-collect, sort through and preserve evidence for the case. He also reported to authorities the possible involvement of Bogu Kailai in the murder, provided evidence and willingly assisted in the reinvestigation of the case, as well as played a key part in cracking the case. Considering this, the penalty for the crime of bending the law for selfish ends should be lighter.
Wang Lijun, as a state functionary who knew state secrets and defected to another country, should receive a heavy penalty according to the law.
After committing the crime of defection, Wang turned himself in and confessed to the crimes he had committed, which could be considered to be voluntary surrender and merit a lighter penalty according to law.
He also produced important clues for exposing serious offenses committed by others and played a key part in the investigation of those cases. This could be considered as a major meritorious service, which merits a lighter penalty.
Taking into consideration the crimes Wang committed, their social impact and the fact that Wang pled guilty and confessed to the crimes at trial, the court has handed down the verdict above according to law.
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