» 08/10/2012, 00.00
Chongqing saga: police and Wang Lijun on trial. Silence on Bo Xilai
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CHINA – VATICAN
Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church
After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.
INDIA – PHILIPPINES
Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist
Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."
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