News / Asia

Bo Xilai Calls Former Police Chief a Liar in China Trial

In this image taken from video, former Chinese politician Bo Xilai addresses a court at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.In this image taken from video, former Chinese politician Bo Xilai addresses a court at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.
x
In this image taken from video, former Chinese politician Bo Xilai addresses a court at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.
In this image taken from video, former Chinese politician Bo Xilai addresses a court at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.
Ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai kept up his fiery defense in court Sunday, accusing his former police chief Wang Lijun of being a "liar and fraudster" as the case heads for an unexpected fifth day Monday.
 
Wang Lijun’s flight to a U.S. consulate in Chengdu last year exposed the murder of a British businessman by Bo’s wife and ignited a political scandal that ended his political career.
 
In a brief session Sunday that lasted a little less than three hours, Bo defended himself against accusations that he abused his power by interfering with an investigation into his wife’s murder of Briton Neil Heywood.
 
Prosecutors laid out a lengthy attack on Bo. They said when Wang Lijun told Bo about his wife’s poisoning of Neil Heywood, Bo punched him so hard in the ear that his mouth bled.
 
They also argued that Bo violated procedure when he shortly afterwards stripped the police chief of his post and took other steps to block any further investigation into the case by those under Wang.
 
Bo said Wang was trying to set up Bo's wife, Gu Kailai. He also argued that Wang has already been convicted in court of trying to cover up Gu’s crimes. According to official accounts of Wang’s trial, he first hushed up the incident, but then later confronted Bo about the murder.
 
Bo said that his responses in the wake of the murder revelation were normal under the circumstances, including his decision to replace Wang.  He also argued that he had not dismissed Wang, but given him an equally important job of handling matters of culture, technology and education.

Impassioned outbursts
 
Bo questioned Wang’s character on Sunday and his mental stability at the time, accusing him of being a liar and arguing that he lacked credibility as a witness.
 
“He is an extremely vile character, spreading rumors here and muddying waters,” Bo said, describing Wang during the hearing Sunday.
 
Such outbursts from Bo targeting prosecution witnesses have been commonplace in the trial, which has already lasted an unprecedented four days. Bo has called his wife “insane,” urged court officials to look into her mental state and argued that her testimony is not credible. Earlier, Bo called another witness of the prosecution a “mad dog."
 
In court Sunday Bo denied hitting Wang.
 
“Wang says he was punched and not slapped, but I’ve never practiced Chinese boxing and do not have the strength to hit Wang so hard,” Bo said.

Some contrition
 
Despite his feisty defense, Bo has admitted some mistakes during the trial. He told the court Saturday that he was partially responsible for Wang’s flight to the U.S. consulate, or as he put it, Wang’s defection. He said he was ashamed of his errors and the shame the defection attempt brought China.
 
Bo said he believed his wife was not involved in the murder because she showed him a death certificate at the time that had the signature of Heywood’s wife. The certificate stated that Heywood died of a heart attack after drinking too much, Bo said.
 
In testimony from Bo presented by the prosecution Saturday, Bo admitted in April that he also bore responsibility for more than $800,000 in funds transferred to his wife’s accounts. He said he was deeply ashamed and regretful about the incident for not trying to stop the transfer of funds or retrieve the money.

Open secrets
 
The proceedings of the trial have been closed to Western reporters, and only a handful of Chinese journalists have been allowed in the court.  But many Chinese have been closely following the riveting details of the proceedings that have been posted on the social media site of eastern China’s Jinan Intermediate Court.
 
State media coverage of the trial has focused largely on Bo’s alleged crimes. Reports and editorials have already all but condemned him of the crimes he stands accused of, and a guilty verdict is widely expected.
 
The trial is likely to wrap up this week, but a verdict is not expected until early September.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs