Parting shots as Bo Xilai exits stage

The five-day trial closes with the former Chongqing party boss launching a withering attack on Wang Lijun, his former police chief, his wife, Gu Kailai and the 'farcical game' the two played

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2013, 5:44am

On the relationship between Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, and his former top aide and police chief, Wang Lijun:

Bo: There are a few basic facts [to clarify]. First, I heard about this case [murder of Neil Heywood] for the first time on January 28th. I didn't believe Gu would kill someone. I have nothing to do with the November 15 [2011] murder and I am not an accomplice. Everyone agrees with this. In fact, before she was arrested in Beijing on March 14 [2012], Gu had been consistently and insistently telling me that she did not murder [Heywood] and it was a slanderous lie made up by Wang Lijun. I believed her.

Secondly, there are many factors behind the dismissal of Wang Lijun as the Chongqing police chief. To begin with, I truly believed he was smearing Gu Kailai. I [sacked him] not because I wanted to cover up the murder case. I just thought he was a shady character. He and Gu Kailai are as inseparable as paint and glue. Gu listened to his every word. Wang Lijun became involved in my family life through her. Now, when such a serious case happens, anyone with basic human dignity would have asked Gu Kailai first. Instead he came to talk to me.

Another reason to dismiss him was because he tried to blackmail me. He said on several occasions that his health condition was not good and he was under huge pressure because of the crackdown on organised crime, that he made a lot of enemies because of this. He was telling me this just to remind me of his contributions. Besides, Xu [no given name] complained to me about five or six mistakes that Wang had committed - all these are in the record. So there are several reasons behind his dismissal, not just because of Gu Kailai. That is just one of the reasons.

Thirdly, we can't simply say Wang Lijun was dismissed. In fact, he was transferred to a new job. In fact, all the [vice] mayors have different duties and responsibilities. He was already a vice-mayor in charge of trade and commerce, education and technology. Are these things not important?

Fourthly, he claimed the other day that 11 people working for him suddenly disappeared. In fact, I knew nothing about this and this could be proved by investigation. All these [arrests] were carried out by Wu [Wenkang] and ordered directly by Gu Kailai. I thought they had gone too far. Wang just exaggerated the whole thing. [Out of the 11 arrested], four were actually arrested by Wang Lijun. This can be confirmed in the written testimonies and it has nothing to do with me.

Fifthly, the relationship between Gu Kailai and Wang Lijun is like a farce. Gu raided Wang's home and posted 60 or 70 messages warning Wang to be careful. That was not an act of hatred. That was totally a little farcical game between two persons who are as close as paint and glue. Wang said a key reason why he escaped [to the American consulate] was because he was banned from going to my home. But in fact, none of the city leaders could come to my home without notice. My home is not a social parlour. The only reason why Wang could come at will is because of the extremely special relationship between the two. I'm sick of it. It's not my idea to ban him from visiting my home. It was Gu Kailai. She was being mad at Wang. Wang took that as a message from me to purge him.

Judge Wang Xuguang: What do you mean that there are more reasons behind Wang Lijun's defection, other than the accusations made by the prosecutors that you slapped him across the face and smashed your mug in anger?

Bo: Yes. Why did Wang Lijun run away? Was it because he was sacked? He still had a job as vice-mayor. Was not allowing him to visit my home a reason why he ran away? If he had nothing to hide, why did he run away? He said I told him to delay his trip to Beijing and he interpreted that as restricting his freedom. In fact his meeting [in Beijing] was on February 3 and 4. The police force was in the midst of an important transition. Why did he insist to go? I did not restrict his [freedom]. I didn't think these reasons were good enough. I made a mistake to slap him and make him run away [to the Americans]. But if a slap can uncover a traitor, that is quite something.

The real reason for his defection was actually already confessed by Wang. He secretly loved Gu Kailai. His obsession with Gu Kailai and their entangled affairs had reached such a stage he could no longer control it. He professed his love to Gu. This was in the letter he wrote to Gu Kailai. [I saw] he also slapped himself eight times [in front of Gu]. Gu told him: 'You are acting abnormal.' Wang said: 'I was abnormal. [Now that I am with you] I'm normal again.' They were surprised when I suddenly broke into the scene. I took [the letter] away. He knew me. He intruded into my family. He hurt my feelings to the core. That was the reason why he defected. He is now trying to confuse things.

Bo's final statement to the court:

Bo: I want to thank the court. First, I want to say that Wang Lijun's defection [to the American consulate] has had a very bad impact on the country and the party, in both China and overseas. I feel deeply remorseful. But I had not the slightest intention to abuse my power. I know I'm far from being perfect. I'm subjective and ill-tempered. I have made serious faults and mistakes. I did a poor job of keeping my house in order and that had a bad effect on the country. I sincerely accept the investigations of the party and of the judiciary authorities. The corruption accusations against me are untrue. Wang Lijun defecting and staying a whole day inside the American consulate had a very bad impact. I should not have lost my temper and slapped him. I behaved like a brute. But I never sought to cover up the November 15 [Neil Heywood] case. I made no attempt to fabricate evidence.

I had absolutely no intention of forcing Wang Lijun to flee. Do you think a slap on the face is enough to turn [a loyal man] into a traitor? Now the truth is gradually coming to the surface. In the private letter that Wang wrote to Gu Kailai, which I took from them - he professed his infatuation for Kailai and how he had become obsessed and mired deeply in his confused feelings. I think perhaps that is the main reason behind his defection.

Xu Ming financed my son's study abroad. I should be blamed. I failed to fulfil my responsibility as a father. I did not teach him properly and did not discipline my son. I was in the dark about him accepting [Xu's] subsidy for flight tickets and accommodation. I also had no idea about the property in Nice [France] that Xu and Gu bought. Even now, I'm still not clear about that. I know nothing about that property. The only evidence that links me with the property was this testimony from me: 'I stumbled into a meeting between Gu and Xu one day 10 years ago at my home. Gu briefly mentioned [the villa in Nice]. I nodded and smiled.' I actually had no memory about this … Wang Zhenggang's testimony contradicts Gu Kailai's. Tang Xiaolin was an opportunist and a liar.

Over the past 16 months, the investigators have taken good care of me and handled me in a civilised way. Most comrades are well educated and well mannered. But of course, I was also being pressured during the process.

I know there is no chance that I can escape from this. That is why I have my moments of weakness. Now that I am in custody and face calamity, I'm overwhelmed with emotions. I only have the remaining days in my life with me. I want to tell Gu Kailai this: 'I heard from others that you had accepted a lot of money [in bribes]. That is indeed bad. But I also hear that most of the money that you have got is legal.' I just want to stress that the corruption charges against me are totally baseless. I made a major mistake as I did not manage my family and my subordinates properly. I have failed the party and the people. I should bear some responsibility for Wang's defection. But I did not force him to go. This trial has lasted for five days. Both sides have been given plenty of opportunities to present their case. And there is the weibo broadcast. This underpinned the determination of the central leadership to seek truth and bring justice. This boosts my confidence in the future of China's legal system.

On bribery accusations involving Xu Ming:

Bo: [Xu Ming] knows what kind of person he is in my eyes. He and I have nothing in common and we are not at the same level. Who was I [at the time]? The Minister of Commerce. Who was Xu Ming? How many chances did he have to talk directly to me? Is it logical to take Xu Ming as a good friend of mine? He is a friend of Kailai and I ran into them from time to time when I went back home. That did not mean I took him as a friend. I can count 100 others who are closer to me and [in my eyes] better than him. The so-called favours I did for Xu Ming were purely business - done for the good of Dalian city and Liaoning province.

There are people saying that Xu Ming is the money man of my family. I need to clarify this now. I have no knowledge of this and absolutely know nothing about it. Xu Ming, Kailai or [Bo] Guagua , none of them told me about Xu Ming paying the bills. Take a look of Xu Ming. He is a typical businessman. He is very polite when talking to me. Can you imagine that he would have the balls to tell me: 'Governor, I paid for the airfare for your family'? Or 'Governor, I gave money to your son'? Was it possible for him to say such thing to me? Even the worst playwright would not make up such a script. I asked Xu Ming about 30 questions the day before yesterday, he said 'no' to almost every question.

There is no reason to think that I have a special relationship with Xu Ming. To be fair, over the past 30 years, I have been working like a machine. I really don't have time to care about the air tickets, hotel expenses and travel expenses. The country picked me not because I'm a good accountant. Kailai said in her testimony that I was aware of the details. In fact, between 2000 and 2007, Kailai had been living abroad and she seldom came back. Not until 2007, when I went to Chongqing. There are 14 counties in Chongqing that are below the poverty line. I visited every one of them. Often I was very tired when I returned home. Is it logical that under such circumstances, Kailai would spend time giving me details about flight tickets and Guagua's travels? Kailai is an intellectual woman with good taste. Imagine that a woman with such refined taste would talk about such trivial things to me - the governor of Liaoning and minister of commerce.

The major parts in Xu Ming and Gu Kailai's testimony - such as how Xu provided money [to my family] and [what was planned] for Guagua when he grew up - are strikingly similar. But asked about the reaction of Bo Xilai [to these statements], they couldn't answer. Xu Ming said: 'Bo Xilai nodded and smiled'. Gu Kailai said: 'He [Bo Xilai] was very happy and supported me.' These words mean nothing.

Gu Kailai has kept me in the dark. She exhausted all her wits and suffered repeated setbacks. In the end she became reckless and angry, did terrible things against all the odds and reasoning. Did she at any point over the past 10 years try to talk to me about these things? Did she ask for my help? I'm her husband! She had so many opportunities to bring these up with me. But in the end, she would rather confide in Xu Ming and Wang Lijun and tell me nothing. There is not a single piece of evidence in the testimony showing that I was aware of these things. Isn't that strange?

Gu Kailai said [in her testimony] that she planned 10 years ago to leave the house [the French villa] to Guagua so that he could focus on his studies. Guagua at the time was only a 15-year-old middle school student. Did Gu Kailai need to do that? I want to say clearly, I would be really angry if she really said that. This is not the style of Bo's family. I hope prosecutors do not humiliate the Bo family's style.