Trial of Bo Xilai: Evidence, charges and defense
Updated: 2013-08-28 23:50
Prosecutors claim that Bo, while secretary of the Dalian Municipal Committee of the CPC in 2000, was directly responsible for a confidential project to rebuild a venue. The project was undertaken by Wang Zhenggang, then director of the Dalian municipal bureau of urban and rural planning and land.
According to prosecutors, in 2002 after the project was completed, five million yuan was paid to Dalian's municipal government. Wang Zhenggang consulted Bo, who had already been transferred to the post of governor of Liaoning province, on how to manage the fund since it could not be conveniently entered into the official account due to the project's confidential nature.
In his court testimony, Wang Zhenggang said, "Bo said he needed some time to answer me when I asked the first time. One week later, I went to Shenyang to meet Bo again. I thought nobody in Dalian knew about the project and the money might as well be given to Bo for family expenses as a token of my gratitude for his promoting me. When I met Bo, I told him this idea, and Bo thought briefly and said, ‘Do it then. Go to Bogu Kailai for details.' He also phoned Bogu Kailai."
Bogu Kailai confirmed that "during Bo's tenure as the governor of Liaoning, one day he told me ‘Wang Zhenggang wanted to meet you.' I asked him why, and Bo said, ‘Wasn't your law office closed? Haven't you always blamed me? Wang Zhenggang can help you with some money. A large amount.' Bo told me to contact Wang Zhenggang directly, and I immediately understood the situation. When my law office was closed, I was with Guagua in Britain and had been spending a lot. I had very little money, and Guagua's dad knew it perfectly."
Transcripts show that when investigators asked Bogu Kailai what Bo Xilai's "help you" meant, she answered "Guagua's dad and I always understood each other without speaking many words, and we didn't talk very literally. Wang Zhenggang had some money to give Bo and me, and we were perfectly clear about that."
Testimonies from multiple witnesses and the transfer records of multiple banks obtained by the prosecutors show the five million yuan allocated as project funds was entirely transferred into the account provided by Bogu Kailai between May 2002 and March 2005.
Testimony by Bogu Kailai read, "When the thing was completed, I told Bo Xilai how it was managed. It's all done. The money from Wang Zhenggang was received."
Prosecutors asked Bo whether Wang Zhenggang reported to him on the project, whether Wang reported to him the department which allocated five million yuan, and whether Wang suggested using the fund to cover Bo's family expenses.
Bo said he did not remember clearly.
"My impression about it is vague now. When the organization (CPC disciplinary authority) investigated me, they mentioned it, but in fact I have no memory of the issue," said Bo. "I cannot remember, but when investigators prompted me, I vaguely recalled the issue."
Bo also said Wang Zhenggang's testimony was illogical and not credible.
The prosecutors pointed out that after the allocation of the five million yuan, Wang Zhenggang suggested using the fund to cover Bo's family expenses.
Bo immediately asked Wang to consult with Bogu Kailai, and made a phone call to her to that effect. Those facts were corroborated by both Wang Zhenggang's court testimony and Bogu Kailai's written testimony.
Bo's testimony written on April 2 of 2013 said, "I agreed that Wang Zhenggang would talk with Bogu Kailai, allowing the arrangement. I did not follow the issue after Wang and Bogu Kailai discussed it, so I did not interfere. The fund entered my wife's account, taking public funds for private use. During the process, Wang Zhenggang met me, then I called Kailai again. I am willing to accept the findings of the investigation that the procuratorate authority confirmed after analysis. In the meantime, I bear legal responsibility for it. I am very ashamed and regretful about it."
Bo said the handwritten testimony was a self-criticism as if it were a matter of major principle, which was made under extreme pressure. Bo insisted that he had no intent to embezzle the money, saying, "what I regretted was that I was too careless and I did not check them well."
Bo and his lawyers said the charge of embezzlement was mainly based on Wang Zhenggang's testimony. However, judging from the evidence of the entire case, it can be proved that Wang did not meet the defendant, nor did Wang mention the issue of the five million project fund.
Prosecutors said that as for the key fact, although the defendant explained he had no intent to embezzle the money, the testimony of witnesses coincided with each other and contradicted the defendant.
Not only Wang Zhenggang and Bogu Kailai's testimonies, but also the verbal evidence of witness who helped transfer the money, the accounts of the company transferring the money, and bank account records, corroborate each other. The entire process of the five million yuan fund that went into the pocket of Bo's family was clear, coherent and complete. The evidence is solid and sufficient.