Trial of Bo Xilai: Evidence, charges and defense
Updated: 2013-08-28 23:50
Suspected of taking bribes
Bo was charged with taking bribes based on the following evidence: from 1999 to 2006, Bo took advantage of his position to seek benefits for others; from 2000 to 2012, Bo accepted cash and property worth about 21.8 million yuan (about $3.5 million) from others, or through his wife Bogu Kailai (handled in a separate case) and his son Bo Guagua.
According to the indictment, from 2000 to 2002, at the request of Tang Xiaolin (handled in a separate case), general manager of Dalian International Development Co Ltd, Bo helped Tang's company take over the Dalian City liaison office in Shenzhen and then used the office's land for development projects. Bo also helped Tang obtain preferential quotas to import cars. Bo took advantage of his posts as mayor of Dalian, secretary of the Communist Party of China Dalian committee, and governor of Liaoning province in doing so. From the second half of 2002 to the second half of 2005, Bo three times accepted money offered by Tang, which totaled 1.1 million yuan.
Bo Xilai's trial was openly held at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Shandong province. Photos by Wang Jing / China Daily
Evidence presented by the prosecutors, including five verbal testimonies and four handwritten testimonies from Tang, video recordings of Tang collected on May 31, 2013, demonstrated how Tang showed his gratitude to Bo after he harvested profits through the land project in Shenzhen and imported cars.
The source of the bribes, the process of bribery and the use of the bribes have been corroborated by the testimonies of multiple witnesses and documentary evidence presented to the court.
Bo denied that Tang had bribed him, claiming that what Tang had asked of him was official business according to official principles.
In Bo's handwritten testimony he admitted that Tang had paid him a total of $130,000 and 50,000 yuan. Tang made the first payment to Bo in 2002 at Bo's home in Shenyang. Tang gave Bo $50,000. Bo's son was studying abroad and the money was to cover his living expenses. In 2004, when Bo was at the Ministry of Commerce, Tang bribed him again, this time with 50,000 yuan at his office, to "purchase some stationery." Bo took the money home. In 2005, Tang bribed Bo for the third time at Bo's office in Beijing with $80,000, saying that the money was for Bo's wife and son, again to cover living expenses abroad, and the money was to express an old friend's goodwill. The money was taken home by Bo and kept in a safe in his study.
Bo and his defense team asserted that his handwritten confession was contrary to Bo's convictions and untruthful. They said the confession should be excluded as illegal.
Bo claimed to have been under pressure when writing the confession, which should justify his demand to exclude it. According to prosecutors, Bo wrote the confession alone and nobody was present at the time.
Aside from the handwritten confession, the defendant had admitted accepting Tang Xiaolin's bribes in a verbal confession during the investigation. The defendant failed to give a reasonable cause to retract his testimony. Bo's defense was self-contradictory and his previous confessions should be tabled as evidence.
In response to Bo's claim of doing official business according to official principles, prosecutors said that anyone who made a profit in a power-for-money deal committed the crime of bribery, regardless of the legitimacy of the profits or whether the profits were reaped in official business.
According to the indictment, from 1999 to 2006, the defendant Bo Xilai, under the request of Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group Co Ltd, took advantage of his position and granted Xu favors in some projects.
The favors included helping Xu with his company's acquisition of the Dalian Wanda Football Club, construction of a sightseeing hot air balloon in the shape of a football, a bid for the Shuangdaowan petrochemical project in Dalian, and being listed by the Ministry of Commerce as a private importer of crude oil and oil products.
From 2001 to 2012, Bo repeatedly accepted large sums of money from Xu Ming through his wife, Bogu Kailai, and his son, Bo Guagua.