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Bo tapped president, new report says

Sacked Communist Party of China (CPC) leader, Bo Xilai, had wiretaps in place to overhear President Hu Jintao’s conversation during the latter’s visit to the southwestern city of Chongqing last year, a new report has claimed.

world Updated: Apr 26, 2012 15:58 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Sacked Communist Party of China (CPC) leader, Bo Xilai, had wiretaps in place to overhear President Hu Jintao’s conversation during the latter’s visit to the southwestern city of Chongqing last year, a new report has claimed.


Though the government is yet to mention this new charge against Bo, NewYork Times quoted unnamed sources to make this claim; bugging Hu’s hotel room is the latest charge to have come out against Bo in this increasingly murky saga involving ambition, money and murder.

Officially, the once popular leader who was slated to reach among top CPC leaders during the change in leadership later this year has been accused of party indiscipline.

It is clearly one of the more serious charges, thought not confirmed officially yet, to be brought against Bo Xilai.

In a related development, Bo’s elder brother, Li Xueming has resigned as vice-chairperson of a Hong Kong-listed company to minimise adverse impact on the company triggered by media reports on his family.

Reports said Li’s real name was Bo Xiyong. Bo’s wife Gu Kailai is probably in judicial custody on charges of murdering British businessman, Neil Heywood. “The Board has been advised by Mr. Li that he, for the best interest of the Company and its shareholders as a whole, has decided to resign from the Board and its Executive Committee in order to minimize any possible adverse impact on the Company of certain reports recently published by the media on his family background,” a notice on the China Everbright International’s, which deals in green environmental protection and alternative energy, website said.

The company added: “The Board would like to take this opportunity to clarify that recent reports by the media on Mr. Li’s family background have no relationship with the normal business and operations of the Company, and have not affected and will not affect the normal business and operations of the Company and its subsidiaries. The day-to-day business activities and operation of the Company is and will continue to be carried out by the Management Committee, of which Mr. Li was not a member during his term of service.”

On his part, Li told the company that he wasn’t “aware of any matter relating to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company, and that he is not aware of any disagreement with the Board.”

Meanwhile, according to NYT, Bo Xilai's wire-tapping operation began several years ago as part of an anti-crime campaign in Chongqing.

Last year, the paper reported, "operatives were caught intercepting a conversation between the office of Hu and Liu Guanglei, a top party law-and-order official whom Wang had replaced as police chief".

The story said police chief Wang Lijun, whose flight to the US consulate in February signalled the start of Bo's downfall, handled the wiretaps and expanded into targeting political figures.