Bo Xilai trial ends, guilty verdict pending

Chinese politician Bo Xilai's trial ends on August 26 in Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Shandong province. Photo: AP

The trial of Chinese politician Bo Xilai wound to a dramatic end Monday with Bo accusing the chief witness of being in love with his wife, and prosecutors demanding a stiff sentence to punish him for withdrawing his confessions.

"Bo Xilai not only denied a lot of proven evidence, but recanted his own handwritten testimony and statement," a prosecutor was quoted as saying in a transcript of the trial’s closing arguments. “He doesn’t meet the standards for a lenient sentence, so should be punished severely in accordance with the law."

The 64-year-old Bo, once a contender for the Chinese leadership, mounted combative defense and caustic putdowns of witnesses, dragging the trial into five days and leaving the outcome not entirely certain.

The Jinan Intermediate People's Court will pass a verdict at a later date.

The soap-opera-like trial became more salacious in closing arguments when Bo tried to discredit Wang Lijun, accusing him of courting Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, according to transcripts released Monday.

They were “close as glue and paint,” Bo said, using a Chinese euphemism for a romantic attachment. Bo alleged that he had confiscated a letter that Wang had written to Gu confessing his love.

Bo also contended that Wang tried to seek political asylum at a U.S. consulate because Bo had discovered the illicit relationship.

"He hurt my family. He hurt my feelings. This is the real reason for his defection," Bo said.

Normally, the court will give a verdict some 20 days after the trial, Shang Baojun, a lawyer with the Moshaoping Law Firm told on Monday.

"The court could give Bo a very long sentence, somewhere between 15 years in prison to life, because they feel he is not cooperating,"

Bo has been constesting his allegations throughout the trial and looks to lodge an appeal to higher court after the verdict. But Shang said he is not likely to do so.

"His self-defense is lame compared to the solid evidence and I think it is unnecessary for him to appeal," Shang said.

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