Bo denies abuse of power

By Hu Jia in Jinan and Bai Tiantian in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-26 1:08:01

Prosecutors concluded Sunday that former senior official Bo Xilai continued to deny charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power as he stood trial for the fourth day in the Jinan Intermediate People's Court.

More details were revealed about how Bo, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), allegedly tried to stop his wife's homicide investigation, and how his fight with former police chief Wang Lijun led to Wang's defection to a US consulate.

At Sunday morning's hearing, which ended at around 10:55 am, the prosecution and defense examined the testimony that Wang gave at the court on Saturday afternoon on the charge of power abuse against Bo.

The defendant and his lawyers held that there were doubts about the objectivity and authenticity of Wang's testimony at the court.

The prosecutors held that the testimony given by Wang at the court was consistent with the testimony he gave prior to the trial and could be verified by testimonies of other witnesses and documentary evidence.

On Sunday, prosecutors presented more evidence on the charge of power abuse against Bo, which showed that Bo ordered an investigation into the officials in charge of handling his wife Bogu Kailai's intentional homicide case and violated organizational procedures to remove Wang from his post as head of the Chongqing municipal police.

The evidence also showed that Bo allowed his wife, who was not a civil servant, to take part in discussions about how to handle Wang's defection, and approved her suggestion to ask a hospital to fake a diagnosis that Wang had a mental illness as well as the release of this false information to the public.

Bo admitted that he made mistakes in handling these incidents but insisted that he was not involved in any power abuse, adding that the responsibility all belonged to his wife and a third participant surnamed Wu.

The prosecutors also presented evidence on how Bo's case was exposed and investigated and pointed out that he did not turn himself in, confess his crimes or inform against others.

Law experts believe that Bo's refusal to confess shows that he had no regrets over his behavior.

"During the trial, Bo has never stopped fighting his charges. He has shown that he has a clear mind as well as a thorough understanding of legal procedures," said Tong Zhiwei, a professor with the East China University of Political Science and Law, who started to write papers on Bo's rule in Chongqing in 2010.

Tong said the prosecutors have collected some solid evidence.

"Bo's refusal to confess shows he has no regrets over what he did, which in turn might aggravate his punishment," Tong said.

The trial, which was made public through continuous Weibo updates, demonstrated an unprecedented degree of openness and transparency and could serve as an example for other cases, according to analysts.

"The open trial of Bo is a bold breakthrough that places the hearing directly under the supervision of the whole of society," Li Zhuang, a lawyer and a long-time critic of Chongqing's controversial anti-gang campaign under Bo, wrote on his blog.

Bo, who once held a seat on the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, was the third senior official to stand trial in the past two decades, following former Beijing Party chief Chen Xitong and former Shanghai Party chief Chen Liangyu. Neither received an open trial like Bo. 

"Bo's denial of the accusations could be seen as his final effort to save his remaining influence," Duan Wanjin, a Shaanxi-based criminal lawyer, told the Global Times.

"The open trial has revealed a lot of details in Bo's case and provided people a rare peek into the senior official's personal life and his character. The trial de-idolized him in front of his supporters."

The court has completed the investigation phase of the case and will move on to the debate section on Monday.

Xinhua contributed to this story

Read more in Daily Speical: Fallen official Bo Xilai stands open trial

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