Fallen Chinese high-flyer Bo goes on trial

2013-08-22 09:04
Bo Xilai. (File, AP)

Bo Xilai. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Chinese Culture
    Read all you need to know about the Chinese culture in this insightful title. Now R447.00
    buy now
Jinan - Ousted Chinese political star Bo Xilai went on trial for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power on Thursday, asking to be treated "fairly" at the start of the country's highest-profile prosecution for decades.

Bo was accused of abusing his political powers to cover up his wife's murder of a British businessman in 2011, according to the Twitter-like weibo account of the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, in eastern China.

A picture of Bo posted on the account showed him standing in the dock wearing an open-necked white shirt and looking pensive, his hands crossed in front of him.

"I hope the judge can deal with the case reasonably and fairly," the court quoted Bo as saying, adding that he said he had no objections to the evidence presented.

Bo took advantage of his position as party secretary of the south-western megacity of Chongqing to carry out "a series of acts of abuse of power", the court heard.

Bo also "received $3.6m in bribes while mayor of the north-eastern port city of Dalian, governor of Liaoning province and national minister of commerce, prosecutors said, adding that Bo had also embezzled another five million yuan of public funds.

Bribes were received through Bo's wife Gu Kailai and their son Bo Guagua, they said.

The prosecution called for Bo to be punished according to a law that prescribes a minimum of 10 years in jail for taking bribes of more than 100,000 yuan.

Guilty verdict certain

Bo was once one of the 25 members of the Communist Party's Politburo, and the party is touting the trial as proof of its intent to crack down on corruption.

But details about the scandal, which erupted in the build-up to a once-in-a-decade leadership handover that saw Xi Jinping elevated as party chief, have also exposed the high-flying lifestyles and murky dealings of China's political elite.

It also revealed factional divisions within the party, and the proceedings remain sensitive.

Analysts say Bo's revival of the trappings of China under Mao Zedong - including mass concerts singing "red" songs - in Chongqing alarmed sections of the top leadership, who saw the campaigns as a brash return to a bygone era of strongman rule.

One Bo supporter held up a portrait of Mao outside the court and a man surnamed He, who works part of the year in Chongqing, said he flew in the night before and had met many others from the city.

The 51-year-old said he had not told his family he was coming to the trial, reflecting the sensitivity of the situation, yet he openly praised the fallen leader in front of a row of police.

"If this were a matter of justice, would they be so nervous?" he said, referring to the scores of blue-uniformed police who blocked roads around the entrances of the court in Shandong province, far from Bo's power bases, early on Thursday.

"It doesn't matter how he is sentenced, it matters how history is written," the man added.

Hundreds of passersby stopped to watch outside the court, some capturing the scene on their smartphones, as cars, buses and ambulances occasionally drove in.

The galleries were packed, the court said, with five relatives of the accused present, two assistants, 19 journalists and 84 members of the public. But no foreign media organisations were granted entry.

Bo - who had not previously been seen in public for over a year - was shown with short hair, tinged with grey at the temples, and was flanked by two policemen, both taller than him.

"Bo's more than 180cm tall. The cops next to him must be over 190cm. Were they chosen for that on purpose?" one commentator on the court's Sina Weibo account said.

The politician's dramatic downfall began in November 2011 when British businessman Neil Heywood was found dead in a hilltop hotel room.

Gu was last year given a suspended death sentence - normally commuted to life imprisonment - for Heywood's murder. Bo's police chief Wang Lijun, whose flight to a US consulate blew the scandal open, got 15 years in jail for his role in covering up the killing, defection and other crimes.

Bo's own long-awaited trial is expected to proceed swiftly, with a guilty verdict all but certain and the sentence believed to have been decided beforehand.


Read more on:    bo xilai  |  china
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Operations Manager CA(SA)

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
DAV Professional Placement Group
R500 000 Per Year

Call Centre Recruitment Consultant

Cape Town CBD
Hi-Tech Recruitment Cpt

Course Consultant

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Faculty Training Institute (Pty) Ltd
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.