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 admits slapping former police chief Wang Lijun 'because he was two-faced'
Bo tells court how, 'mad with anger', he struck Wang Lijun after he told him his wife might be linked to the murder of Briton Neil Heywood
Bo Xilai on Saturday reconstructed events that led to him slapping the then Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun in the face, and the latter’s dramatic defection to the American consulate in Chengdu.
“[Wang] came to me on January 28  and told me [British businessman] Neil [Heywood] died. He said somebody was alleging that Gu Kailai had something to do with the death. Later in the evening we talked more about Gu’s problems. We talked about the relations between Gu Kailai and Neil Heywood. But I can’t remember the details now.
“I talked to Gu Kailai after the conversation. Gu was furious. She immediately said these were all Wang Lijun’s slanderous accusations. I told her I was told that several people were ready to testify against her. Gu Kailai said these people were instructed by Wang. ‘Every word came from Wang’s instruction.’ Gu then showed me a coroner’s report from the Chongqing police that showed Neil Heywood died from alcoholic poisoning. The report bore the signature and fingerprints of Neil Heywood’s wife. I have no idea as how and why she would have the coroner’s report.
“I believed Gu and believed Wang was falsely accusing her. Gu had been singing praises of Wang all the time. Why did she suddenly turn against Wang? And with such force? Gu’s account was also very detailed. She described how three students of Wang – Wang Zhi and Wang Pengfei [and a third unnamed] – recorded every word of Wang. That was why I believed her. After all, we have been married for 27 years.
“After one night of deep thought and struggle, I went back to my office on January 29. The whole thing was too overwhelming for me. Gu in my memory was a gentle lady. She couldn’t have killed somebody. And she was on very good terms with Wang. I had never detected any bad blood between the two. Why did this happen now? I vaguely felt that Wang had some hidden agenda. I was in a very bad mood when I got into the office. Then I started to question Wang.
“I also called the deputy police chief Guo Weiguo and the director of Chongqing’s general office Wu to my office. I directly asked Wang: ‘Yesterday, you told me that somebody was saying Gu murdered [Heywood]. Is that somebody you?’ Wang looked very embarrassed. I lost my control. I thought he was a two-face. My main question to him was this: ‘Who wrote the letter against Gu? You or the three others?’
“He couldn’t answer. I hate a two-face more than anything else. He appeared to be obedient. But on issues like this, he was playing tricks. He told me softly yesterday that somebody said Gu murdered [Heywood]. Now when I asked him if it’s him, he couldn’t answer. That was why I slapped him across the face. I was mad with anger. I said some angry words.”
Prosecutors asked Bo why he smashed a mug during his encounter with Wang.
“I couldn’t control myself. There was only one thing in my mind. I knew Wang and Gu had very close relations. Gu trusted Wang above everyone else. Gu had been singing his praises all the time. I think Gu had done whatever she could to help Wang. Wang bit the hand the fed him. He is a man without morals. He was on such good terms with Gu. Why didn’t he go to Gu first when he discovered Gu [was being accused of murdering Heywood]? Why did he ask his students to write the letter? I couldn’t take that. That was why I was so mad and I smashed the mug. This was my fault.
“Wang defected to the American consulate office in Chengdu on February 6. I was informed at midnight on February 6 or early on the morning of February 7. On January 29, shortly after I slapped him, he said he wanted to talk in private. I agreed, as I had calmed down. He told me not to get angry. He said Heywood was not a good guy and that police had already closed the case. I went home and told Gu. She insisted that Wang was bad. My mind started to get a bit chaotic.
“I recalled that Wang told me how he was under huge pressure in combating organised crime. He had many enemies. I remembered that he told me his health was not as good as before. I vaguely remembered [stories] that he been injected with [narcotics] by force by [an enemy]. Gu had described that in detail. So I decide to switch him to another job.
“It all happened quickly. Wang already told me before he wanted a change. That is why I made the change. This is my character. I do things once I have made up my mind.”