News / Asia

China's Bo Denies Blocking Murder Probe Aimed at His Wife

In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai listens to a testimony by former Chongqing city police chief Wang Lijun, unseen, at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.
In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai listens to a testimony by former Chongqing city police chief Wang Lijun, unseen, at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.
William Ide
Chinese politician Bo Xilai denied allegations he abused his power and blocked an investigation into his wife’s murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.  His fierce defense against these and other allegations came during Saturday's court sesson.  The trial moves into a fourth day Sunday.

Bo Xilai faced his former subordinate, Chongching police chief Wang Lijun.  Wang helped expose the murder of Neil Heywood, a scandal that ended Bo’s political career.

Bo told Saturday's hearing Wang had confronted him about Gu Kailai’s murder of Heywood and that he slapped the police chief in response. He relieved Wang from his post several days later due to work-related stress.

Bo said his wife convinced him at the time that she had not killed (Heywood). Bo said Gu believed the police chief was trying to set her up.

Shortly after Wang was removed from his post, he fled to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu with evidence about the family’s involvement in the murder. Bo told the court on Saturday that he accepted some responsibility for Wang’s flight to the consulate, but denied blocking the investigation.

The comments Bo made about his wife were in sharp contrast to everything else he has said about her in court.  He has already told the court that his wife is insane and questioned the credibility of her testimony against him in the other charges of bribery and extortion.

Bo has given a spirited defense of allegations that he accepted more than $3 million in bribes from two businessmen and that he pocketed $800,000 in state funds.  For those crimes, Bo has put most of the blame on his wife.

  • A black minivan (behind silver Mercedes minivan) believed to be carrying disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai arrives at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court ahead of the fifth day of Bo's trial in Jinan, Shandong province, August 26, 2013. 
  • A policeman guards the entrance of the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, Shandong province, August 26, 2013. 
  • A minivan believed to be carrying disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai leaves the Jinan Intermediate People's Court after the end of the fifth day of Bo's trial in Jinan, Shandong province, August 26, 2013. 
  • A minivan (C) believed to be carrying disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai arrives at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court ahead of the fifth day of Bo's trial in Jinan, Shandong province, August 26, 2013. 
  • Bo Xilai leaves the Jinan Intermediate People's Court building in a vehicle in Jinan, Shandong province in this photo taken by Kyodo, August 23, 2013.
  • Gu Kailai is seen in a still image taken from an August 10, 2013 video provided by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, recorded at an unknown location and screened on August 23, 2013 during Bo Xilai's trial.
  • In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, disgraced politician Bo Xila is flanked by police officers during his trial at the court in eastern China's Shandong province, August 22, 2013.
  • A TV screen shows a news report of disgraced politician Bo Xilai standing in the courtroom, flanked by police guards at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in eastern China's Shandong province, in Hong Kong, August 22, 2013.
  • A man wearing a t-shirt with a picture of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong holds a fan with the words "Bo Xilai" near the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, August 22, 2013.
  • A supporter holds a placard during a rally behind a police barricade near the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, August 22, 2013. (Dongfang/VOA)
  • A woman protests outside the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, eastern China's Shandong province, August 21, 2013.
  • Chinese police officers attempt to remove a woman protesting with the words "unjust" written on a banner outside the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, August 21, 2013. (Dongfang/VOA)
  • Chinese police officers march out of the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan in eastern China's Shandong province, August 21, 2013.
  • Chinese police officers march out of the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan in eastern China's Shandong province, August 21, 2013.
  • Chinese police officers march out of the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan in eastern China's Shandong province, August 21, 2013.

Duan Wanjin, a Shaanxi-based criminal lawyer said that he was pleased with the latitude the court was giving Bo to mount his defense. He said that while Bo has denied the corruption and bribery charges against him in court, he still could face punishment.

“If, afterwards, he had evidence that made him perfectly aware of the fact that people gave him these assets - even if he did not actively participate in the exchange but also did not report or delayed reporting it - then it would still constitute bribery or extortion,” said the lawyer.

Prosecutors cited earlier written testimony Saturday in which Bo accepted responsibility for taking state funds.  Back in April, he said a government-planning official approached him 2002 and suggested the funds be diverted to help his wife and son overseas.

When Bo did not respond immediately to the offer, the official later suggested he speak with Bo’s wife about the funds.

In the April testimony, Bo said he was deeply ashamed and regretful about the incident for not trying to stop the transfer of funds or retrieve the money.

On Saturday, Bo said in the late 1990s he had an affair that angered his wife, Gu Kailai, who then moved to Britain with their son.  Bo suggested she was trying to get leniency by directing the corruption accusations toward him.

With five branch offices for her law firm in Beijing and assets worth up to 30 million yuan (around $5 million), Bo said Gu had plenty of money for herself and their son.

Most high-profile trials in China are wrapped up in hours or a little more than a day, so the duration of Bo’s trial has been surprising. In many cases, high-ranking politicians facing trial just accept the allegations against them.

Criminal lawyer Duan said Bo’s trial was setting a good example for future cases to follow.

“For cases that we have seen in the past, we have been told that they were open trials. But in fact they were secret trials, to a degree, and they would not let people know many details about the cases, including restrictions put on the court staff. But in Bo's case we can see that the court has the ability to represent itself,” he said.

Duan said that while some have said the final verdict for the trial has already been decided, he believed the court would make its final decision based on the facts and evidence presented in the case. 

A verdict is not expected until early September.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid