Bo Xilai’s Cannes villa goes on sale

By Yao Meng in Cannes Source:Global Times Published: 2014-12-22 23:58:01

French lawyer says clear title needed for Chinese court confiscation order

Bo Xilai's luxury villa stands by a bay in Cannes, France. Photo: Yao Meng/GT


Front gate of Bo's luxury villa. Photo: Yao Meng/GT


A "for sale" sign outside Bo Xilai's villa. Photo: Yao Meng/GT

Former Chinese senior official Bo Xilai's luxury villa in Cannes, in southern France, has been put on sale for 6.95 million euros ($8.52 million), although a Chinese court confiscated it following Bo's September 2013 trial. 

The sale of the 400-square-meter building and its 4,000-square-meter garden, which located in one of Cannes' most exclusive neighborhoods, is being managed by Fine & Country, a real estate company specializing in the sale of luxury properties.

Average sales prices in the area can reach 6,000 euro per square meter, a local real estate agent told the Global Times. 

Gu Kailai, Bo's wife, bought the property at the price of some 2.3 million euros in July 2001 with money provided by Xu Ming, a prominent Dalian businessman who had close ties with Bo's family, according to the verdict of Bo's first trial delivered by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Shandong Province in September 2013. Bo also acknowledged the villa and Xu's bribery in 2002.

Bo, former Party chief of Chongqing and a former member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was sentenced to life for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power in October 2013 in a second trial.

The court in Jinan ruled that the property in Cannes be confiscated. 

To cover up the connection to Bo's family, Gu bought the house through several companies owned by Xu and a French citizen named Patrick Henri Devillers, according to the verdict.

According to documents from a Cannes commercial court, the property is managed by Residences Fontaine Saint Georges, a French-registered company, the legal representative of which is Jiang Feng Dolby, a former hostess on Central China Television said to be close to Xu.

British businessman Neil Heywood, who was murdered by Gu in 2011, managed the French-registered company beginning in 2007, passing the position to Jiang in 2011, read the documents.  

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a media briefing on Monday that she is not aware of the specifics.

A French lawyer told the Global Times that Chinese authorities need to provide French authorities with sufficient evidence to clear the ownership of the property and prove that the mansion belongs to Bo before it can be confiscated. 

China and France recently agreed to increase judicial cooperation in pursuit of international fugitives.

Olivier Pedro-Jose, deputy spokesperson for the French Justice Ministry, said that France has agreed to assist China in chasing a dozen suspects, but did not comment on Bo's mansion, Beijing Youth Daily reported on December 10.


Posted in: Politics

blog comments powered by Disqus