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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

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

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify Power Base

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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 Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
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 S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
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 Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. 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.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs