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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

World

Treat my father fairly, my mother is defenceless now: Bo Xilai's son
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, August 20, 2013
First Published: 21:30 IST(20/8/2013)
Last Updated: 21:32 IST(20/8/2013)

The son of shamed Chinese politician Bo Xilai has urged that his father be allowed to defend himself against a slew of allegations including corruption and abuse of power without any constraint.

Bo Guagua said that his father, expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) last year and indicted of several crimes last month, should be given the right to answer his critics.

Charged with bribery, corruption and abuse of power, Bo Xilai goes on trial in a court in Jinan in eastern China, few hundred kilometers from Beijing, on Thursday.

While it is being called an open trial, it is widely believed that courtroom procedures are formality and Bo is likely to be swiftly sentenced.

In a statement issued to the New York Times, Bo said he has been denied contact with his parents for 18 months. His mother, Gu Kailai is serving a suspended death sentence for murdering – according to the official version – British businessman, Neil Heywood.

The younger Bo himself was in news after the scandal broke out early last year. He was studying in the US at that time and his flamboyant lifestyle that included fast cars and some hard partying was under scrutiny in China.

He has maintained a low profile since and is now studying law in an Ivy League college.

In the statement, he also talked about his parents’ detention and the hardships they were going through.

“It has been 18 months since I have been denied contact with either my father or my mother. I can only surmise the conditions of their clandestine detention and the adversity they each endure in solitude,” he said in the statement.

“I hope that in my father’s upcoming trial, he is granted the opportunity to answer his critics and defend himself without constraints of any kind,” Bo Guagua added.

Bo Guagua referred to the ongoing speculation that his mother might be coerced to give evidence against his father to protect his interest and wellbeing.

Most of the short statement focused on Gu Kailai.

“However, if my well-being has been bartered for my father’s acquiescence or my mother’s further cooperation, then the verdict will clearly carry no moral weight,” the son said, adding:

“My mother, who is now silenced and defenseless, cannot respond to the opportunistic detractors that attack her reputation with impunity. She has already overcome unimaginable tribulation after the sudden collapse of her physical health in 2006 and subsequent seclusion. Although it is of little comfort to my anxiety about her state of health, I know that she will continue to absorb all that she is accused with dignity and quiet magnanimity.”


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