World News

    Bo Xilai Admits Mistakes in Murder Probe



    Ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai admitted in court Saturday that he made mistakes in connection with his wife's murder of a British businessman, but denied criminal responsbility in the scandal.

    Bo told the court he is "ashamed" of his errors, because they hurt the reputation of the Communist Party and the country.

    The former rising star in China's leadership is on trial on charges of abusing his power. He is accused of trying to obstruct police investigating the murder in 2011 of Briton Neil Heywood, and also faces facing bribery charges and corruption charges for allegedly embezzling state funds. Bo's wife, Gu Khailai, was found guilty of murdering Heywood and is now in prison.

    During Saturday's court proceedings, Bo denied allegations he embezzled $800,000 from a government building project that ended up in his wife's account, but accepted some responsibility for not paying more attention to the transaction or stopping the illegal transfer. He has already told the court his wife is insane, and questioned the credibility of her testimony against him.

    Saturday's proceedings included testimony from Wang Lijun, Bo's former top aide and the Chongqing police chief, who exposed the murder scandal last year when he fled to a U.S. consulate in fear of reprisals.

    The Bo trial enters its fourth day on Sunday.



    With the proceedings in Jinan closed to Western reporters, Bo's comments are taken from state media reports and lengthy trial transcripts posted on Chinese social media.

    In court Saturday, Bo admitted slapping and dismissing Wang Lijun as police chief after Wang told Bo that his wife, Gu Khailai, had killed Heywood.

    Prosecutors say Heywood was killed as a result of a financial dispute with Gu. After her conviction last year, Gu was given a suspended death sentence -- essentially a life term in prison.

    Wang testified Saturday that Bo drew blood when he hit him. The ex-policeman said he turned to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu for help because he feared for his safety.

    Bo was removed as party secretary of Chongqing and ousted from the Politburo last year following Wang's disclosure to American diplomats of evidence about the Bo family's involvement in the murder. Wang was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison for covering up the killing.

    Saturday's proceedings followed a dramatic video posted online in which Bo's imprisoned wife said he was aware that a wealthy businessman had given the family a string of expensive gifts, described by prosecutors as bribes. The prerecorded video released Friday provided the public's first glimpse of Gu since her sentencing.

    Analysts say it is almost certain that China's top political leaders decided before Bo's trial even began that he would be found guilty and receive a lengthy prison sentence, as in other sensitive political trials in China.

    The trial has already proved more dramatic and lasted longer than anticipated. A verdict is not expected until early September.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora