Bo Xilai denies charge of power abuse

Former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai on Sunday denied the charge of abusing power to cover up a murder case involving his wife and to sack a police chief without proper procedures.

Prosecutors said on Sunday that Bo did not turn himself in, confess his crimes or inform against others. Such compliance can result in more lenient punishment.

The defense strategy of Bo boils down to this: One of the prosecution's key witnesses is a liar, and the other is crazy.

Four days of testimony at the trial, which has offered a glimpse into the shady inner workings of China's elite, ended Sunday, with Bo assailing his former right-hand man, much as he had done previously to his wife, the other key witness to testify against him.

A court heard allegations over the weekend that Bo abused his power as the Communist Party secretary of the southern megacity of Chongqing to block an investigation into his wife's murder of a British businessman, as well as to hide his aide's embarrassing flight to a U.S. consulate.

Bo told the Jinan Intermediate People's Court on Sunday that his former right-hand man, Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun, "constantly lied in his testimony." He said Wang was "a person of very vile quality, who lied in court and muddied the waters."

But prosecutors said Wang's testimony was consistent with his previous statements, which could also be verified by the testimony of other witnesses and documentary evidence.

The prosecutors also said that Bo allowed his wife, who was not a civil servant, to take part in discussions about how to handle Wang's defection.

Bo acknowledged that he made mistakes in the handling of the incidents that triggered the nation's biggest political scandal in decades and brought shame on the Communist Party, but denied criminal misconduct.

After testimony concluded Sunday, the court said all evidence in the trial had been presented. The trial was adjourned until Monday, when closing arguments are expected to take place.

 


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