29 June 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 08/10/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    Chongqing saga: police and Wang Lijun on trial. Silence on Bo Xilai

    Wang Zhicheng

    Four officers are accused of helping Bo Xilai’s wife to conceal the murder of Heywood. Gu Kailai poisoned the British recruiter after making him drunk. The verdict is expected in these days. The woman, who did not contest the allegations and cooperated, will receive a soft sentence. In a few days the trial of Wang Lijun, Bo Xilai’s former right hand man, for "treason". Under no circumstances, is name of the former Party secretary of Chongqing mentioned. Leadership fears uncovering of the corrupt world of the "princes" and the Party, before the autumn Congress.

    Hefei (AsiaNews) - The trial of four police officers accused of concealing Gu Kailai's murder of Neil Heywood (left. And right), wife of the former boss of Chongqing, Bo Xilai, opened today. Their trial takes place immediately after Gu's, which ended yesterday in a record six hours, the verdict is expected in the coming days.

    According to South China Morning Post sources the trial will begin against Wang Lijun, Bo's former right hand man, guilty of "treason" for having taken refuge in the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, fearing for his life after discovering that Heywood had been murdered. But nobody is talking about or making any accusations against Bo Xilai, fired from his post as party secretary of Chongqing, halted in his rise to power of the Politburo, but for now only under investigation for some vague "disciplinary irregularities".

    The four Hefei policemen are also being brought to trial in Anhui, as was the case with Gu Kailai's trial, famous for its obedience to the central power grid and far from Bo's influence in Chongqing. They are: Guo Weiguo, deputy chief of police in Chongqing, Li Yang, a former head of the criminal investigation team, Wang Zhi and Wang Pengfei, district officers. All are accused of trying to protect Gu "from being prosecuted for her criminal liability."

    For her part, Gu Kailai yesterday did not contest the charges of murder, and indeed collaborated revealing names of other persons involved. This will ensure her a more lenient sentence and several lawyers think that she will escape the death penalty and will receive only 10-15 years in prison.

    At the trial yesterday only hand picked journalists from state press were present. The others had to settle for the story as recounted by the official spokesmen. According to this version, last November Gu Kailai visited Heywood at the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel and drank alcohol and tea with him. After getting drunk and vomiting, Heywood asked for a glass of water. Gu brought it to him, but it was a poison brought by her butler, Zhang Xiaojun.

    Heywood had threatened to reveal to the public the illegal economic trafficking they had carried out together that has enriched the family of Bo and Gu. Yet never once was the name of Bo Xilai uttered during the trial.

    It is likely that the silence surrounding Bo will also dominate in the trial against Wang Lijun, to be held in Chengdu in a few days. Wang was a close associate of Bo in his neo-Maoist campaign complete with populist gestures, revivalist songs and crackdown on the triads and corrupt cadres. This past February - when he claims to have discovered that Heywood had been murdered - he sought asylum in the U.S. consulate in Chengdu to ask the status of political refugee. Failing to obtain it, he was arrested and led away by police.

    He is accused of "treason" for trying to flee the country and is likely to face the death sentence. But he also cooperated during the investigation and perhaps will receive a lighter sentence.

    The question remains what will happen to Bo Xilai. Son of leading revolutionaries, from the lineage of "princelings", rich and powerful thanks to their forefathers, he has been marginalized in the power struggle for control of the Politburo, which should be almost completely renewed in the autumn.

    Several analysts see the Chongqing saga as a sign of the struggle within the Party. Yesterday, while the court met to judge Gu Kailai, some Bo supporters demonstrated against what they call a rigged trial that has already been decided. The police detained and dispersed them.

    The fact remains that the party - whose credibility is at a historic low - fears that digging around in Bo's life will reveal the rottenness of a political class that is enriched in a superlative way at the expense of the population. That is why media access to the trial and report is monitored with the comments on blogs obscured; national newspapers only giving the official court report as issued by Xinhua. Everything has to be quickly resolved to focus on celebrating the swollen rhetoric of the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China in Autumn.

     

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    See also

    09/08/2012 CHINA
    “Trial of the century" begins (and ends) against Gu Kailai
    The trial is reminiscent of the one against Mao's wife, head of the Gang of Four. Media denied court access. Accused only permitted court appointed defense lawyers, who have not yet met with their clients. The many oddities indicate that the sentence has already been written and it's all in favor of the Communist Party. The trial will be brief because the leadership want to forget this story and prepare for the Congress this autumn.

    18/09/2012 CHINA
    First in secret and then in public, Wang Lijun trial begins
    Yesterday there was a secret session. Today the public session opens, but journalists are barred. Wang is accused of corruption and use of the law for selfish ends, but above all defection of seeking refuge in the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. His escape led to the fall of Bo Xilai, the death sentence of his wife Gu Kailai, and the revelation of corruption in the party.

    20/08/2012 CHINA
    Death penalty for Gu Kailai. Still silence on Bo Xilai
    The sentence was suspended for two years. Gu Kailai’s sentence could be commuted to life imprisonment and perhaps a release on medical grounds. Two million Chinese blog comments. Four heads of the Chongqing police department, sentenced to prison for withholding evidence of Gu’s crime. Great Britain is pleased that trial does does not apply death penalty.

    17/08/2012 CHINA
    Quick verdict for Gu Kailai on August 20, as Communist Party prepares for Congress
    Gu Kailai has confessed to the murder of businessman Heywood, with a motive: concern for her son's life. Perhaps to escape the death penalty. The party tries to save itself during trial: no one gives the name of Bo Xilai, the fallen chief of Chongqing. Meanwhile preparations for the 18th Congress of the Communist Party push ahead. Security in the capital ensured by over 27 thousand soldiers and the "iron fist" of the police.

    06/09/2012 CHINA
    Charges laid against Wang Lijun. Again, no mention of Bo Xilai
    The once powerful former police chief of Chongqing is accused of defection, abuse of power, corruption and hiding evidence. Although he was a close collaborator of Bo Xilai, the latter’s name is not mentioned in connection to the charges. Thanks to Wang murder intrigue of British businessman Heywood discovered. But the party accuses him of "betrayal", perhaps because he revealed the rot at centre of leadership.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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