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 disputes Wang Lijun's 'debased' evidence
In these excerpts, Bo Xilai labels the former police chief's testimony as 'full of lies' and defends his handling of the Heywood murder
On the fourth day of his corruption trial in Jinan, Shandong province, Bo Xilai continued to dispute the testimony of his former top aide Wang Lijun and his wife Gu Kailai about his handling of Gu's murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
On Wang's fitness to testify:
Bo: It's obvious Wang Lijun has been lying all the time. His testimony is full of lies and untrustworthy. He could hear things from the next room even if the door is closed. Many things he talked about were all one-sided and he doesn't have others to support him. He said I did not "slap" him, but gave him a punch. But I've never practised boxing, nor am I powerful hitter.
Judge Wang Xuguang: So what Wang Lijun said yesterday was not true?
Bo: No, [his words] were not true. The court has sentenced Wang for abuse of power and defection. His defection has led to a severe adverse impact [on the country]. Wang argued yesterday it was not defection, but a normal diplomatic behaviour that had gone through necessary procedures. Therefore this man's personality is extremely debased. First, he's lying in court. Secondly, he's trying to muddy the waters. Letting this kind of person testify will impair the credibility of the legal system.
Bo: [Former Chongqing police party secretary] Guan [Haixiang] has testified about Wang Lijun's condition, which was also excerpted by my lawyer. Guan said Wang Lijun was not in a healthy state. He could not sleep and was about to have a nervous breakdown, which had endangered the stability of the police. Wang also requested a change of role to relieve his pressure.
Video: Bo Xilai trial adjourned on Sunday
On Bo's authority to reassign Wang:
Bo: About Wang Lijun's new position, the Chongqing police bureau held a meeting on February 4, and I said both Wang and Guan's work was quite important and the transition must be smooth. Wang Lijun's past achievement should be recognised and I also emphasised social stability. On February 3 and 4, there was this transition, so I suggested that Wang Lijun delay his trip to Beijing. I did not try to restrict his personal freedom. It is also wrong to conclude that I had suspended Wang from his post. I only adjusted Wang's division of work. I asked him to take charge of industry and commerce, education, technology. These fields of work are quite important to Chongqing. Personally I had no intention to disrespect him, because none of Chongqing's seven deputy mayors was also holding a position as a department director. I did remove Wang's position as public security chief, but it was part of an integrated process to reallocate responsibilities [among deputy mayors].
On investigating Wang's aide Wang Pengfei :
Bo: I had my faults. I thought Wang Lijun needed a change of role after causing so much trouble. He needed to calm down. It was good for him. I did not want to run him down. Then there's the thing that involves Wang Pengfei. Prosecutors have evidence that I was not supporting the idea of appointing him as a deputy director of a district. In fact, I could not clearly tell Wang Pengfei from [former Chongqing senior police officers] Wang Zhi and Li Yang ,who were several ranks lower than me. And I had few impressions of them. I had no impression of Wang Pengfei at all. After Guan told me about Gu Kailai's letter, he mentioned the appointment of Wang Pengfei as a deputy director. No one mentioned this to me prior to that, as far as I could recall. Guan said it was not suitable to name Wang Pengfei at that point of time following Wang Lijun's defection. Everyone knew Wang Pengfei was brought to Chongqing by Wang Lijun from the northeast. Was it proper to name him at that time?
On blocking the probe into Heywood death:
Bo's lawyer: About Gu Kailai's murder [of Heywood]. Wang Lijun heard that from both Gu Kailai and [former Chongqing senior police officer] Guo Weiguo . As public security chief, Wang Lijun should have known his responsibility. Wang should take the responsibility for not handling the case in a timely way. He has already been found guilty of covering up over the murder by Gu Kailai. This is one thing.
Bo: I smashed a glass on January 29. It was simply because I lost my temper. Whether it was my disapproval of the November 15 [Heywood] case, or what I did to Wang Lijun, it's all other people's speculation. Gu Kailai told me that Wang Lijun was framing her for the November 15 murder case. Why did she say that I told her Wang was framing her? It has got so strange that Gu said that I ordered the investigation into Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi.
Wang Xuguang: So you are insisting that Gu Kailai's and [then Chongqing official] Wu Wenkang's testimonies are untrue?
Bo: These are not true. Wang Lijun said that I punched him, and led to the rupture of his eardrum. I only slapped him in the face and I wanted to know how that could lead to his injury. Guan told prosecutors that I never asked him to review the November 15 case, but it was not true. I asked him to make things clear on February 14.
Wang Xuguang: So you think Guan's testimony was also untrue?
Bo: Yes. I suggest that the prosecutors not try to exonerate Wang Lijun in my persecution. Regarding to my responsibility of Wang Lijun's detention, all the comments I made just now were focused on the court's evidence. I would express my own opinion in the court debate.
On allegations that Wang attempted to blackmail Bo:
Bo's lawyer: On the night of January 28, Wang Lijun returned to his office around 11pm. [Businessman] Xu Ming said he met Wang Lijun at Wang's office, and Ma was also there. After the meeting, I think Wang Lijun was quite excited. He said everyone involved in the murder of Neil Heywood should resign. On January 29, the defendant slapped Wang in his face. That afternoon, when Guo met Wang Lijun, Guo told Wang that as Bo has slapped Wang: "Why don't we remove the cover on the whole thing?" that is to say, to expose the murder by Gu Kailai.
Bo: My lawyer said Wang Lijun wanted to blackmail me, something included in Guo Weiguo's and Xu Ming's testimony. [Wang] did not mention this clearly to me and I never agreed with him. I was deeply unsettled by Wang Lijun's words, so much so that I was really angry the following day.
Bo's lawyer: The defendant had his reasons to doubt Wang Lijun. Wang said yesterday that he himself did not believe Gu Kailai had killed someone and Gu Kailai also denied the murder. Bo thought Wang Lijun was trying to blackmail him. That's the real reason Bo hit Wang.