Legal process of Bo trial will dispel doubts

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-27 0:28:01

Photo taken on Aug. 26, 2013 shows the court trial of Bo Xilai (C, front) at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province. The trial of Bo, charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, concluded at 1:04 p.m. Monday at the court. The verdict will be announced at a date yet to be decided. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

The open trial of Bo Xilai, former  secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the CPC, has gained worldwide attention. All kinds of voices in the sphere of public opinion are trying their best to make themselves heard. Under this situation, respect for facts should stand out as the most significant force, making sure the whole event is interpreted as being fair.

Concerns about whether Bo would be subjected to a "secret trial" did not recede until the whole process was clearly open to the public. It is said that Bo's relatives and nearly 100 people from all walks of life, including the media, were allowed into the trial. Media coverage, official announcements and real-time updates of the trial have proven to be objective and adequate. Such a process is impeccable even in the eyes of the West.

Even so, there are still people advocating that the trial should be broadcast live on TV, or it has no claim to being a "public trial." Such a claim is not only the result of a misunderstanding of judicial openness, but also goes beyond the international standard, which does not demand live broadcasts of entire trials. Open trials also need boundaries, which are drawn to protect the trial from too much interference from public opinion.

It should be noted that political rumors have already been spreading on the Internet. On the one hand, some believe Bo will be given a tough sentence, much heavier than the punishment he deserves. On the other hand, some speculate that the verdict will be much lighter. The two opinions, though contradictory, are the same in nature - with the defiance of facts and laws, they make "opinionated judgments" which are too subjective and individual. An impartial trial only responds to facts, and never submits to wishes or speculation.

Those rumors and speculation are creating a clip of political bullets, which are being used to sabotage China's system. But they are actually just a stream of bubbles set off by Bo's case. The Internet dramatically lowers the cost of making these bubbles, but their exponential growth cannot prevent them from bursting. The result of Bo's case, by its very essence, can only be decided by facts and laws. The severity of his punishment has to be in proportion to the judgment of the law. This is a rational conclusion, and also what this open trial signals to the whole of society.

Bo's case happened in an era when China's legal construction is closely tied to the development of the Internet. The institutional guarantees that make sure lawsuits are handled according to law, as well as stronger media attention, are making frame-ups and cover-ups more unlikely.

It is believed that Bo's trial will wipe out rumors and speculation, promoting the public's confidence in China's rule of law. It can also show to the public that China's legal construction can only be improved step by step. Every step taken is a milestone in China's efforts to fight corruption.

Posted in: Editorial

blog comments powered by Disqus