Trial of Bo Xilai: Evidence, charges and defense

Updated: 2013-08-28 23:50

(China Daily/Xinhua)

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The trial of Bo Xilai, charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, concluded on Monday at Jinan Intermediate People's Court, after hearings from Aug 22 to Aug 26.

The verdict will be announced at a date yet to be decided.

Trial of Bo Xilai: Evidence, charges and defense

The last day of the trial of Bo Xilai at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province. The trial of Bo, charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, concluded at 1:04 pm on Monday. The verdict will be announced at a date yet to be decided. Xie Huanchi / Xinhua

At the trial, prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence for Bo while the defendant denied the charges.

In his final statement, Bo said he made serious errors of judgement when handling the defection of Wang Lijun, former vice-mayor and police chief of Chongqing.

"Wang's defection caused vile impacts at home and abroad and undermined the image of the Party and country," he said. "I am deeply ashamed and filled with regret, but I did not intend to misuse my power."

He also denied the bribery and embezzlement charges against him. "The charges are not true. My mistake, which was serious, was that I did not discipline my family and subordinates.

"I know I am not a perfect person. I had a strong ego and bad temper. I made serious mistakes," he said. "I sincerely admit that my failure to manage my family had a negative effect on the country.

"I sincerely accept the investigation from the party and the judicial departments," he said.

Over the past 16 months, the staffers who took charge of his case took care of his life, he said.

"They talked with me in a civilized way and most of them were professional, though of course, I have been under pressure during the process," he said.

"During the trial, both prosecution and defense sides had opportunities to fully express their opinions. Also, the court released trial transcripts through micro blog. All of these have made me more confident of the future of China's judicial system," he said.

Bo's trial began on the morning of Aug 22 in the largest courtroom of Jinan Intermediate People's Court.

More than 100 people, including Bo's family and relatives, deputies to people's congresses, political advisors, citizens and journalists observed the trial.

The moment after Bo, escorted by marshals, walked into the defendant's seat, he stopped and turned around, casting a glance at the observers' seats.

Bo, 64, is former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a former member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

Bo's resume also includes mayor and Party chief of Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning province, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Liaoning Provincial Committee and deputy secretary, governor of Liaoning and minister of commerce.

On April 10, 2012, Bo was suspended from the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and the CPC Central Committee, on suspicion of serious discipline violations and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC filed a case for investigation.

On Sept 28 last year, the CPC Central Committee expelled Bo from the CPC, removed him from public office and transferred his case to the judiciary.

On the same day, the Standing Committee of Chongqing Municipal People's Congress removed him from his post as deputy to the National People's Congress. The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) opened an investigation and decided to arrest him.

The SPP passed the case to Jinan People's Procuratorate to prepare for prosecution on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power on April 10, 2013.

Jinan People's Procuratorate instituted a public prosecution against Bo on July 25 on the three charges.

The court investigation began when the presiding judge informed all parties of their litigation rights at 9:10 am on Aug 22.

Yang Zengsheng, vice-president of Jinan People's Procuratorate, and three others served as prosecutors in court. Yang read the indictment.

According to the indictment, Bo accepted bribes worth about 21.8 million yuan (about $3.5 million) directly or jointly with others.

"The amount was especially huge," the indictment said.

Bo was accused of conspiring to embezzle 5 million yuan of public funds."The sum was huge," the indictment said.

Bo abused his power, causing major losses to the interests of the State and people. The circumstances are especially serious, according to the indictment.

According to the prosecution, Bo's conduct violated Clause 1 of Article 385, Article 386, Clause 1 of Article 382, the first entry of Clause 1 and Clause 2 of Article 383, and Clause 1 of Article 397 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China and he should be held criminally responsible for the three charges and be punished accordingly.

The prosecutors pointed out that the charges were filed on the basis of a large body of factual evidence.

During the trial, the defendant gave a statement on the facts regarding his alleged offenses and denied all charges.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers questioned the accused.

Witnesses Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group Co Ltd, Wang Zhenggang, then director of the Dalian municipal bureau of urban and rural planning and land, and Wang Lijun, former vice-mayor of Chongqing, appeared to testify in court.

Both the prosecution and defense cross-examined the witnesses.

Prosecutors played video recordings of Bo's wife Bogu Kailai and Tang Xiaolin, general manager of Dalian International Development Co Ltd., and presented evidence including documents and audio-video materials, witness' testimony, and the confession and arguments of the defendant.

Prosecutors said the defendant failed to provide evidence that could help refute the facts regarding his charges and expressed numerous conflicting statements during his defense.

The court approved all applications by Bo and his lawyers to speak, guaranteeing them enough time to express their views.

During the trial, Bo expressed his gratitude to the presiding judge for being fair, saying the trial had proceeded in a humane and civilized manner.

When the investigation phase was complete, and with the consent of the presiding judge, the prosecution and defense debated the facts, evidence and charges.

Both sides expressed views on facts, evidence and law on which judgment of guilt and measurement of punishment would rely.

Jinan People's Procuratorate pointed out in its summary of the case that during the trial, Bo not only denied the evidence, but overturned his handwritten confession.

On the charge of abuse of power, Bo admitted mistakes and responsibility, but did not admit the charge and refused to plead guilty.

Prosecutors stressed that the facts of the crimes are objective and will not be altered by the defendant's own will. The facts are based on evidence, not the defendant's testimony.

Although the country's legal system has a principle of tempering justice with mercy, a heavy sentence in line with the law should be handed to Bo, as he committed very serious crimes and refused to plead guilty. Considering that the accused did not turn himself in or disclose another person's crimes, he is not subject to any terms of leniency by law," prosecutors said.

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