iconimg Sunday, May 03, 2015

Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, August 25, 2013
Ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai on Sunday called his associate and former police chief Wang Lijun a “liar” as he continued to defend himself against the allegation of abuse of power and covering up his wife’s involvement in murder. The once powerful member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Politburo, Bo, is standing trial in a court in Jinan in eastern China on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. The ongoing trial which will continue on Monday has generated media frenzy and much interest among the common Chinese as it gives an insight into the lives of China’s powerful politicians.

Details like Bo’s son Bo Guagua’s flashy continent-spanning lifestyle, the family’s French villa near Cannes, Bo’s adultery and his description of wife, Gu Kailai  “mad” and “insane” have all added spice to the already murky mix of murder, money and deceit.

Bo’s apparently feisty defence against the allegations has also created a buzz. Hundreds of thousands are following the court’s official micro-blog giving frequent snippets of the exchanges.

Wang Lijun’s testimony which began on Saturday continued on Sunday; the focus was on the charge of abuse of power with Bo being accused of covering up his wife Gu Kailai’s involvement in the murder of British businessman, Neil Heywood. Both Gu and Wang are currently serving jail sentences.

Wang said he feared about his own safety after he told Bo that he wanted to investigate Heywood’s death and that Gu was possibly involved. He added that Bo had punched him after he brought up the topic. Fearing for his life, Wang then attempted to seek shelter in the US consulate in Chengdu.

Refuting the allegation, Bo on Sunday said Wang was lying and that he was “filled with deception.”

Bo also said that Wang’s character was “extremely bad and he created rumours.”

“It’s beneath legal credibility to present such a person as a key witness. Wang Lijun was lying during the trial and his testimony was not valid at all.”