09/24/2012, 00.00
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Wang Lijun sentenced to 15 years. Now it may be Bo Xilai’s turn

by Wang Zhicheng
Wang thanked the court and will not appeal. Great caution before the 18th Party Congress. It is assumed that Bo Xilai, former chief of Chongqing, will be expelled and prosecuted after the important meeting.

Chengdu (AsiaNews) - The former police chief of Chongqing - once the right arm of the powerful party secretary Bo Xilai - was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempted defection to a U.S. consulate and other crimes such as "selfish purposes" in ' use of the law, abuse of power and corruption.

According to the judges Wang cooperated with the investigation and for this, instead of the death penalty has received only 15 years. Wang thanked the court, apologized to the party and said he will not appeal.

Wang Lijun was the closest collaborator of Bo Xilai, the brilliant "princeling" of Chongqing, during Bo's "strike dark" campaign to clear the mega-district of 35 million inhabitants of local mafias and corrupt Party members. Bo's policies, a mixture of populism, statism and Maoist revival, was taking him to the top of the party, a candidate for the Central Committee of the Politburo. The murder of the British businessman Neil Heywood by Bo's wife Gu Kailai destroyed the relationship between Bo and Wang. According to the reconstruction published on Xinhua, Wang initially concealed the evidence of the murder, then later revealed them to Bo, who, in response had him reprimanded and beaten. Fearing for his life, Wang fled to Chengdu, to seek asylum at the U.S. consulate, where he revealed these facts. At that point, the leadership could no longer feign ignorance and imprisoned Wang and Gu Kailai, and forced Bo to resign from his position, thrusting one of the most bitter scandals of the last 30 years into the public arena.

During the trials of Gu, Wang and four police officers complicit in covering up the evidence of the assassination, the name of Bo Xilai was never mentioned. Only in the trial of Wang Lijun, was Bo quoted in an indirect way (""the then official leader of the Communist Party of Chongqing ").

According to several analysts, the caution used in the trial is a sign of the Party's fear in revealing the level of corruption, violence and the struggle for power within it's ranks, resulting in a huge loss of credibility, just as it is preparing to celebrate the 18th Congress and a change in leadership. At the same time, the fact that at the end Bo was mentioned - albeit in an indirect way - suggests that the "princeling" - the son of one of the great party leaders- will be prosecuted. The hypothesis is that, before the Congress, he will be expelled from the Party and immediately sent to trial.


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See also
Charges laid against Wang Lijun. Again, no mention of Bo Xilai
Bo Xilai's wife charged with murder
First in secret and then in public, Wang Lijun trial begins
Bo Xilai casts shadow on Wang Lijun's trial
Beijing imposes harsh sentences on Tibetan monks and lama


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