News / Asia

Ex-Police Chief Gets 15 Years in China

Chongqing municipality ex-police chief Wang Lijun (R) reads a statement during his sentencing inside the courtroom of the Chengdu People's Intermediate Court in Chengdu, Sichuan province in this still image taken from video, Sept. 24, 2012.
Chongqing municipality ex-police chief Wang Lijun (R) reads a statement during his sentencing inside the courtroom of the Chengdu People's Intermediate Court in Chengdu, Sichuan province in this still image taken from video, Sept. 24, 2012.
A court in China has sentenced former police chief Wang Lijun to 15 years in prison. Wang’s flight to a U.S. consulate in southern China, earlier this year, helped expose one of the Communist party’s biggest political scandals in decades.

During his trial, Wang Lijun did not contest any of the charges against him, which included defection, bribery, abuse of power and, as state media put it, bending the law for his own selfish ends.

The willingness to admit his guilt as well as help authorities with the investigation into the murder of a British businessman by the wife of his former boss - rising political star Bo Xilai - appears to have helped lighten his sentence.

In state media footage of the trial Wang was shown apologizing to those he says he let down.

Wang says he regrets the crimes he committed and pledges to spend the rest of his life repaying the party and all those who care about him. Wang says he wants to do this to make up for the pains he brought to them.

Wang Lijun was once Bo Xilai's right hand man. But that changed when he found out that Bo’s wife had murdered British businessman Neil Heywood.

According to an official account of the trial, Wang first helped cover up evidence of the murder, but later confronted his former boss about his wife’s involvement.

When he did, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency says Wang was angrily rebuked and had his ears slapped.

Willy Lam, a China scholar, says one of the most remarkable things about the account of the trial is that it mentions indirectly, but very clearly, the name of Bo Xilai. “It is possible that Bo Xilai, even though he has powerful patrons including former president Jiang Zemin, might have to appear in a court of law to answer criminal charges regarding sheltering his wife and possibly even preventing the course of justice,” stated Lam.

Lam says that, if Bo really does face charges, his punishment is not likely to be too severe, but any criminal action against him will mean the end of his political career.

Bo was last seen in public in March, when he was removed from his post as Chongqing party secretary. The Communist party is investigating him for serious violations of party discipline as it prepares for a once in a decade leadership reshuffle.

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political scientist at Hong Kong Baptist University says it is difficult to say what may come next for Bo. “We do not have much hint actually that Bo Xilai is getting to be prosecuted as an ordinary criminal accused of corruption, accused of bending the law for his own interest, of torture or even covering up his wife's murder," said Cabestan. "I think the authorities, the Chinese Communist party leaders, have kept both options open, maybe because they are still divided about how to manage the Bo Xilai case before the party congress.”

Cabestan says that, although the party may want to handle Bo internally, it may be too hard to do that given that many Chinese believe he had to have known about his wife’s involvement in the murder of Neil Heywood.

“I think the logical conclusion would be that eventually Bo Xilai should be prosecuted and should be accused of crimes according to the Chinese criminal law, but how long is going to take, whether such a decision can be made before the congress.  And, next question of course is when is the congress is going to open, all those questions remain in the air and undecided for the time being,” Cabestan added.

Lam says he believes some kind of a decision on Bo Xilai will come soon. “They don't have much time left I think so the leadership is very close I think to hammering out the final verdict on Bo Xilai. Again, this illustrates very well the fact that in China there is no independence of the judiciary," Lam said. "So most criminal and other cases are decided by senior officials in the politburo, not by judges and other judiciary officials.”

Most analysts believe that the party will hold its 18th congress some time next month, which will mark the beginning of a once-in-a-decade transition of power.

You May Like

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs