Chinese Communist "princeling" Bo Xilai, expected by many to take a key leadership position in the leadership transition of 2012, was expelled from the Communist Party in September after a career that saw him as Mayor of Dalian City, Minister of Commerce and Party Chief of the Chongqing municipality. His wife Gu Kailai received a suspended death sentence in August 2012 for murdering British business partner Neil Heywood.
Bo Xilai's trial (day 4): Bo calls former police chief 'abominable' liar
- Yes: 25%
- No: 75%
8.20pm: Jiang Feng, the woman who managed Gu Kailai's property in Cannes, has spoken out about her relationship with fallen billionaire Xu Ming, the man who reportedly paid for the villa, for the first time on Sunday.
"If a single woman and a single man fall in love, commonly used words like mistress, paramour or sugar daddy don't apply," she wrote in a microblog post posted in the afternoon.
Jiang's statement follows wild speculation by Chinese Internet users about her private life and marital status after transcripts released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court last week described Jiang as Xu's confidante and at one point as his "girlfriend".
"The information in media reports is not entirely correct," she wrote in a follow-up statement later on Sunday. "I have no wish, and no duty to answer journalists' questions or rectify their reports."
Jiang, a former Chinese Central Television reporter now living in Britain, took over the management of Gu's villa in May 2011 from Neil Heywood after Gu lost trust in Heywood according to court documents.
Xu suggested Jiang to Gu as a more trustworthy manager of the property, court transcripts showed. Jiang provided written testimony for Bo's trial confirming that she managed the property.
Xu, the former chairman of the Dalian Shide conglomerate and once one of China's richest men, was detained in connection with Bo's downfall last year and is expected to face charges of illegal business actions.
1.11pm: Prosecution and defense say they have no further evidence to present to the court. The court says the trial will resume on Monday, 8.30am.
1.05pm: The lawyer says medical staff could testify to the fact that Wang Lijun was ill and needed medical treatment. Bo says that Wang is a person of "extremely abominable character", according to the transcript.
1.03pm: The lawyer argues that Wang Pengfei was investigated because he provided the vehicle Wang Lijun used to drive to Chengdu to seek political asylum. He also cites Chen's testimony in saying that Chen first mentioned Wang Pengfei's investigation to Bo, not vice-versa.
1.00pm: Bo's lawyer argues that Gu Kailai had informed Wang Lijun of the murder on January 14, 2012, but Wang failed to start a formal investigation. He only mentioned the incident to Bo on January 28. Wang testified that Gu informed him on November 14, 2011. It is unclear whether the inconsistency is due to a mistake in the transcript or is a mistake in the defence lawyer's statement.
12.54pm: Bo reiterated that he had not fired Wang when he dismissed him as head of police, but only given him a lighter, but equally important portfolio handling matters of culture, technology and education.
12.48pm: Bo cites unspecified earlier testimony from Gu Kailai in which she claimed responsibility for Wang Lijun's defection and that she prevented Wang from passing on evidence to Bo.
12.39pm: Bo thanks the court and the prosecution for their work, but adds that the prosecution has misrepresented the facts. He denies involvement in the investigation of Wang Pengfei. He says he ordered Wang Lijun's successor to investigate Wang's defection.
12.33pm: Chen stated that Bo had called him on February 17, 2012, informing him that Wang Pengfei, a protege of Wang Lijun, was being investigated for party discipline violation and should be excluded from future job nominations. Wang was later sentenced to five years in prison for "bending the law for selfish ends" along with other proteges of Wang Lijun.
12.27pm: The prosecution cites the testimony of Chen Cungen, the then head of the municipal party organization department, as saying that Bo had rushed Wang Lijun's demotion as the city's head of police. Chen said he reminded Bo that the decision required consent by the municipal party committee and the Ministry of Public Security, but Bo did not heed his advice and ordered to make the announcement.
12.19pm: Court releases transcript.
Prosecution & defense in Bo Xilai's trial have completed presentation & examination of evidence,with no new evidence to present: court.
— Xinhua News Agency (@XHNews) August 25, 2013
1st proof of cuts? Bo says Wang said yest. his flight to US cons. was "normal diplomatic procedure". No sign in yest's transcript.
— malcolmmoore (@MalcolmMoore) August 25, 2013
Reporters laugh as Jinan govt organize city tours for media this aftn during #BoXilai trial recess. Hot spring or museum? Hard decision!
— Steven Jiang (@StevenCNN) August 25, 2013
11.28am: Human rights activist Huang Qi says one more person has been detained on Saturday outside the court, bringing the total number of reported detentions to 26. Huang said that tightened security on Saturday made it impossible to further monitor the situation in Jinan. He estimates the number of detentions to be much higher, he told the Post on Sunday.
#BoXilai trial adjourned for the day and to resume Monday. Collective moan at media center.
— Steven Jiang (@StevenCNN) August 25, 2013
11.15am: The court has not yet released a transcript of the remainder of the proceedings earlier on Sunday.
11.13am: The court says it has finished reviewing evidence. The court will resume hearing the case on Monday, 8.30am.
As we are waiting for further transcripts from today's hearing, read our exclusive profile of Zhao Dongping, the family confidant who testified to have managed five million yuan for the Bo family.
10.57am: The court says it is now looking into assets seized during the investigation preceding the trial.
As we are waiting for further transcripts from today's hearing, revisit a commentary by Zheng Wang, the author of Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations, in the International Herald Tribune earlier this week:
"As you watch Mr. Bo’s trial, remember that the scandalous charges, Mr. Bo’s defiant defense and the final verdict are less important than whether the party can put an end to Mr. Bo’s tactics and policies — and expel the ghost of Mao," he writes.
... and anther take by John Garnaut, the author of The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo, for Foreign Policy:
"Wen's intervention and Bo's dismissal prompted other princelings to break their silence, as the elite descended into factional warfare."
#BoXilai said "WLJ created rumor at the scene and was stirring the muddy water"
— Yuan Wang (@amorsmap) August 25, 2013
10.36am: Bo and his lawyer question Wang's testimony, says he lacks "legal credibility". Presiding judge Wang reminds them that both the defence and the prosecution have requested that Wang testified in court.
10.30am: Bo says he could not have punched Wang, because he has no boxing experience and lacks the necessary physical strength.
10.28am: Bo reacts to Wang Lijun's testimony: Wang was "clearly lying".
10.27am: Court releases new transcript.
10.19am: Chongqing municipality has heightened security measures ahead of trial, Radio Free Asia reports.
10.16am: Cheng Ping, a Hong Kong-based investor personally acquainted with President Xi Jinping and other members of the party leadership, tells Radio Free Asia, that Bo's appearance in court was linked to a power struggle within the party.
10.02am: The court resumes the hearing.
10.02am: According to freeweibo.com, at least dozens of weibo posts expressing support for Bo Xilai have been deleted over the last days.
9.51am: Hu Xijin, the controversial editor-in-chief of Global Times, comments on the trial in a Sina Weibo post on Saturday night. He says he hoped that the trial will be widely regarded as legitimate.
9.45am: The court rests for 15 minutes.
9.29am: Whether or not Bo knew about the property in Cannes is irrelevant, legal scholar Liu Renwen writes in a commentary for Caixin.
9.19am: The Chongqing Daily reprints the Xinhua news report on the third day of Bo's trial on page two of its Sunday edition.
9.13am: A CCTV news report earlier today shows Bo appearing in court on Sunday.
8.37am: The hearing has resumed, the court says in a weibo post.
8.25am: Convoy believed to be carrying Bo Xilai has entered the court premises.
8.15am: Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun suffered a stroke sometime before Bo's ongoing trial, according to three sources. Wang appeared in a wheel-chair, according to two sources. He signed his testimony with a fingerprint, not with his signature, as is customary.
When Bo Xilai said his wife Gu Kailai was "insane" and compared herself to Jing Ke, the ill-fated assassin of China's first emperor, he was only repeating what an investigator had told him earlier, according to one person who attended the trial.
One source says that the review of the evidence is expected to end today. The person expects closing arguments to be delivered on Monday.
Scenes from China Central Television's evening news report on Saturday's hearing:
Our last update on Saturday:
8.40pm: Wang Lijun calls himself "a subordinate, a friend" and a "victim" of Bo's. While Bo cross-examined him, Wang said "You asked me to protect Guagua, you brought that up basically every week."
"You told me, 'there is only this one person who looks decent and promising in my family,' " Wang told Bo during the cross-examination.
At noontime on Nov. 14, 2011, Gu Kailai told him about murdering Neil Heywood, says Wang. It was the same day of Heywood's death. Heywood's body wasn't found until 26 hours later, on Nov. 15. The Chinese government refers to the case as the "11.15 Case" based on the date of Heywood's body's discovery.
A month before Wang's confrontation with Bo on January 29, 2012, two of Wang's proteges in the police force, Wang Zhi and Wang Pengfei, had already been "investigated and hushed", Wang said. The two officers were involved in the investigation of Heywood's death.
Wang Lijun said he learned that Wang Zhi, one of the officers, was summoned to Bo's home where senior police and city officials pressured him into writing a document saying that Gu Kailai was not involved in Heywood's murder.
During their famous confrontation on January 29, 2012, Bo started swearing at Wang "very vulgarly" as soon as he appeared at Bo's office, said Wang. Bo then walked around his desk and "punched me in the left ear," said Wang.
"I found the edge of my mouth bleeding and liquid dripping out of my ear," Wang said.
"I told him very calmly that he needed to face the matter," Wang said.
Bo then picked up his glass and smashed it on the floor, and said he absolutely could not accept it.
After that, Bo had wanted to come over and "inflict more violence," said Wang, but was blocked by Wu, a senior Chongqing government official and Bo's former secretary.
When asked by the prosecutor under what circumstances he went into the US consulate in Chengdu, Wang said,
"It was very dangerous at the time. First I suffered violence, and then staff close to me and investigators in the [murder] case disappeared."
7.20pm Few sparks as Bo questions Wang, in court as a witness, presumably for the first time since February 2012. The conversation between the princeling and his former right-hand man, according to court transcripts posted so far after the court adjourned for the day, appears calm and focused
Key players in Bo Xilai's trial:
Map of Bo Xilai's career moves and the family's known properties:
View Bo Xilai in a larger map
Gu Kailai's taped testimony released on Friday:
Correction: 8.15am update wrongly stated that Bo had not called his wife "crazy". He said so, but was only repeating an investigator's words, one person attending the trial said. 9.13am update shows Bo appearing in court on Sunday, not as stated in an earlier update on Saturday.