News / Asia

Ex-Chinese Police Chief Pleads No Contest as Trial Ends

Former police chief Wang Lijun speaks during a court hearing in Chengdu in this still image taken from video on September 18, 2012.
Former police chief Wang Lijun speaks during a court hearing in Chengdu in this still image taken from video on September 18, 2012.
William Ide
— A court in China held a second day of hearings Tuesday in the case against former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun. Wang’s flight earlier this year to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu helped expose one of the country’s biggest political scandals in decades.

In state media footage of the hearing, Wang appeared relaxed, listening at times and speaking with Chengdu Intermediate Court officials.

China’s state-run CCTV gave an official account of the proceedings and called Tuesday's hearing an open trial. The proceedings focused on charges that Wang accepted bribes and violated China’s laws for his own personal gain.

The announcer said Wang used his position as a government official to illegally confiscate the property of others, which amounted to more than half-a-million dollars.

Timeline of the Bo Xilai Scandal

2012
  • February 2: Bo's key ally and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun is demoted
  • February 6: Wang visits U.S. consulate in Chengdu
  • March 15: Bo dismissed as Chongqing party chief
  • March 26: Britain asks China to investigate November death of Briton Neil Heywood in Chongqing
  • April 10: Bo suspended from Communist Party posts. China says Gu is being investigated for Heywood's death
  • August 20: Gu given suspended death sentence after confessing to Heywood's murder
  • September 24: Wang convicted of defection, power abuse and bribe taking
  • September 28: Communist Party expels Bo


2013
  • July 25: Bo indicted for bribery, corruption, abuse of power
  • August 22: Bo trial begins in Jinan
  • September 22: Bo sentenced to life in prison
A court official said Wang did not contest charges of bribe-taking, illegal surveillance and attempted defection.

State media say that, during the trial, Chengdu Intermediate Court prosecutors repeated charges that Wang deliberately concealed evidence and tried to cover up the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Heywood was murdered by Gu Kailai, the wife of Wang’s former boss and fallen political star Bo Xilai.

During the trial, state media broadcaster CCTV said Wang’s help in cracking the case against Bo Xilai’s wife was important.

The announcer said that Wang had members of the Chongqing police re-investigate the case of Gu Kailai, protect and review evidence related to the case, and inform authorities about Gu’s involvement in the murder. The announcer said Wang played an important role in helping authorities solve the case.

Wang also revealed leads in criminal cases committed by others and played an important role in helping with the investigation of those relevant cases.

The court did not say which cases Wang provided help with, but it is widely expected that after Wang’s sentence is handed out, attention then will shift to Bo Xilai.

Until now, Bo - who was removed from his post earlier this year - has been accused only of breaching internal party discipline.

The court says a ruling in the trial will be delivered in the coming days.

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