• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 9:51pm

Bo Xilai

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. 


Prosecutor demands severe punishment as Bo Xilai trial ends

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 August, 2013, 3:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 August, 2013, 6:18pm

Chinese prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence for ousted top politician Bo Xilai as his divisive, dramatic trial ended on Monday, saying his “whimsical” challenge to charges of bribery, graft and abuse of power flew in the face of the evidence.

Bo was a rising star in China’s leadership circles when his career was stopped short last year by a murder scandal in which his wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of poisoning a British businessman, Neil Heywood, who had been a family friend.

Bo, who was Communist Party chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, has mounted an unexpectedly feisty defence since the trial began on Thursday, denouncing testimony against him by his wife as the ravings of a mad woman.

The court, announcing the end of the five-day trial, said the verdict would come at a later date. It did not provide details, but it could be announced within the next few weeks.

Bo has repeatedly said he is not guilty of any of the charges, although he has admitted to making some bad decisions and to shaming his country by his handling of former Chongqing police chief, Wang Lijun, who first told Bo that Gu had probably murdered Heywood.

Wang fled to the US consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu in February last year after confronting Bo with evidence that Gu was involved in the murder. Wang was also jailed last year for covering up the crime.

Summing up the evidence, the state’s prosecutor said Bo should not be shown leniency as he had recanted admissions of guilt provided ahead of the trial.

“Over the past few days of the trial, the accused Bo Xilai has not only flatly denied a vast amount of conclusive evidence and facts of his crimes, he has also repudiated his pre-trial written testimony and materials,” the court cited the prosecutor as saying.

“We take this opportunity to remind Bo Xilai: the facts of the crimes are objective, and can’t be shifted around on your whim,” it said, without saying which of the four prosecutors had made the remarks.

Salacious allegations

The trial has heard many salacious allegations against Bo, with transcripts, although probably edited, being carried on the court’s official microblog.

The prosecution has alleged that Bo took more than 20 million yuan (HK$25.3 million) in bribes from two businessmen, embezzled another five million yuan from a government building project, and abused his power in trying to cover up Gu’s crime.

Details have been presented of a villa on the French Riviera bought for the Bo family by businessman Xu Ming, who also paid for foreign trips by Bo and Gu’s only son, Bo Guagua, offering a glimpse into the lifestyles of China’s elite politicians.

The severeness of the accused’s crimes, and that he refused to admit guilt, don’t match the circumstances of leniency

Bo said that he had initially admitted to Communist Party anti-corruption investigators that he received bribes as he had been “under psychological pressure”.

Bo also said he been framed by one of the men accused of bribing him, businessman Tang Xiaolin, who he called a “mad dog”.

The prosecutor said Bo’s lack of contrition would count against him.

“The severeness of the accused’s crimes, and that he refused to admit guilt, don’t match the circumstances of leniency, and (he) must be severely punished in accordance with the law.”

Bo said he had offered his confession about accepting bribes from Tang because he wanted to “co-operate, to get the understanding” of the party, which at the time was leading the investigation into him.

“At the time, I had a spark of hope, I hoped to keep my party membership, to keep my political life,” Bo said, according to the court’s transcript.

There was no mention in the transcript of Bo’s previous assertion of being put under pressure to confess.

Bo also provided a new explanation for why Wang – who has accused Bo of punching him upon the news of Gu’s involvement in Heywood’s murder – fled to the US consulate.

“He was secretly in love with Gu Kailai,” Bo said, adding that Gu had rejected the former police chief. “He muscled in on my home, on my feelings, which is the real reason for his defection.”

Despite Bo’s gutsy defence, a guilty verdict is a foregone conclusion as China’s courts are controlled by the Communist Party. State media, which speaks for the party, has already all but condemned him.

Bo could theoretically be given the death penalty for the charges, although many observers say that is unlikely as the party will not want to make a martyr of a man whose left-leaning social welfare policies won much popular support.


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Regardless what is going to happen to Bo, this prosecutor sure sounded like an idiots and acts like as if he is god, which makes you think how many innocent people got convicted in China. They should castrate this prosecutor.
hard times !
it sounds absurd /weird that Bo Xilai is only charged of taking bribes and corruption during his tenure of the mayor of Dalien City, Liliang province.How about his corruption cases committed when he was the provincial head of Liliang province and as minister of commerce and later the party secretary of Chongqing city ( 2007--2012).He is now accused of collecting tens of millions of yuans but not billions of RMB instead as suspeced by most Mainlanders ! His sentence was already planned and the court hearings were just a show. So his charges of corruption have to match the sentence ! This is so-called governed by law and not 'rule of law' !
well so long we see the last of him for 20 over years, who cares!! even Al Capone was charged only with tax evasion :)
What about his assets overseas? They should seize Bo Gua Gua's (his sons) assets in America. This is what will hurt him the most...
What a sham. Just like the show trials of the Nazis and Soviets. The man is a corrupt, vicious, murdering crook, yet more important is the fact that his trial reveals the true face of the Chinese governing system.
If he were in the inner ruling circle, he would be immune from any accountability.
By the way, what investigations have been made about his wealth that has put his rotten, spoiled son into so many Western educational institutions? Might that threaten to reveal too many other cadres' bribe money?
The way Bo Xilai is making up stories and saying everyone else is either stupid or insane makes me feel that he should use insanity as his defence.


SCMP.com Account