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 calls his former top aide Wang Lijun 'extremely vile'
Former Chongqing boss says Wang Lijun's testimony is black mark on court's credibility
Teddy Ng and Li Jing
Bo Xilai continued his scathing attack on Wang Lijun in court yesterday, calling his former top aide "extremely vile" and dismissing his testimony as a black mark on the court's credibility.
Bo criticised Wang, whom he picked as his right-hand man, as the Jinan Intermediate People's Court heard allegations about Bo's abuse of power. This included removing Wang as Chongqing police chief without following procedures, allowing his wife Gu Kailai to interfere with the handling of Wang's defection to the US consulate in Chengdu and covering up Gu's murder of the British businessman Neil Heywood.
"Wang's personality is extremely vile," Bo said in his defence, according to the trial transcript posted in the court's official microblog account.
"He's lying in court, and he is trying to muddy the waters. Letting this kind of person to testify will impair the credibility of the legal system."
In testimony on Saturday, Wang said Bo punched him in January last year after learning about Gu's murder of Heywood. Wang also said Bo banned further investigation into the murder case, but launched probes into police officers involved in the case to protect Gu. But Bo described Wang's testimony as "untrustworthy" and "one-sided".
"He [Wang] said I did not 'slap' him, but gave him a punch. But I've never practiced boxing, nor am I a powerful puncher," Bo said. "I suggest that the prosecutors not try to exonerate Wang Lijun in my persecution."
Bo's lawyer told the court that Wang has displayed "extreme hostility" against Bo "the minute he showed up in court", and that Wang was trying to "threaten" Bo by discussing the Heywood murder with him.
Evidence alleging Bo's abuse of power by manipulating the removal of Wang in February last year was also presented to the court yesterday.
The court heard that Bo spoke with Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan on January 29, 2012, when Bo proposed to remove Wang. Chen Cungen , then chief of the municipality's organisation department, told Bo that the consent of the Ministry of Public Security was needed to remove Wang, but Bo ignored Chen's advice.
In her testimony, Gu told the court she suggested that Wang's mental problem should be cited as a reason to remove him. She said her suggestion was made at a meeting between Bo and officials on February 7 to discuss Wang's bid to defect at the US consulate in Chengdu . Gu, with the consent of Bo, asked a hospital to provide a diagnosis indicating that Wang was suffering from severe depression.
With the diagnosis, the Chongqing government posted on its official microblog that Wang was having "vacation-style treatment" for stress, according to the testimony of the then secretary-general of the municipality's party committee, Weng Jieming.
Bo denied that he banned the probe into Heywood's murder.