» 08/10/2012 CHINA Chongqing saga: police and Wang Lijun on trial. Silence on Bo Xilai by 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.
- 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.
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
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
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.
the trial yesterday only hand picked journalists from state press were present.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.