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Bo Xilai plays victim as China closes dramatic trial

In this image taken from video, former Chinese politician Bo Xilai is seen at a court room at in Jinan on Sunday. His trial has closed, with prosecutors saying he deserves a severe sentence over alleged corruption and abuse of power in interfering in a murder investigation  

Deposed Chinese politician Bo Xilai said as his trial came to an end Monday that he was a victim of “fabricated” evidence and of a close relationship between his wife and his police chief.

Mr. Bo, 64, presented the closing case for his defence in a five-day trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power, according to a transcript on the official micro-blog of the court in the eastern city of Jinan.

His wife, Gu Kailai, and his Police Chief in the southwestern region of Chongqing were “deeply attached” in a relationship that was a major cause of a murder scandal, he told the court.

Former Police Chief Wang Lijun fled to a US consulate last year after he “confessed that he was secretly in love with [Bo’s wife] Gu Kailai,” Bo said.

“[Wang] violated my family, violated my basic emotions, that is the real reason why he ran away,” he said.

Ms. Gu was convicted of murdering British citizen Neil Heywood and handed a suspended death sentence last year. Mr. Wang was sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption, defection and other offences.

Before her arrest in March 2012, Ms. Gu “told me very clearly that she didn’t murder anyone,” Mr. Bo said. “Wang Lijun framed her,” he said.

But Mr. Bo admitted that he was guilty of “serious misjudgement” in handling the scandal that erupted after Mr. Wang entered a US consulate with information that led to Ms. Gu’s murder conviction.

Mr. Bo said his relationship with Ms. Gu had been damaged by his admission about 10 years ago that he had an affair.

He said prosecutors’ evidence that he accepted bribes worth some $3.5 million and embezzled 5 million yuan ($8, 20,000) from public funds was “fabricated.” The prosecutors insisted that Mr. Bo was guilty on all charges and should receive “severe punishment” when the court issues its verdict early next month.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 1:13:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/bo-xilai-plays-victim-as-china-closes-dramatic-trial/article5061462.ece

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