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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora