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JINAN, China – Fallen Chinese politician Bo Xilai accused his former police chief of being a liar and fraudster Sunday, August 25, the fourth day of a dramatic corruption trial that has gripped the nation.
Before the judge abruptly adjourned for the day, Bo launched the scathing attack on Wang Lijun, whom the once high-flying politician had picked as his right-hand man and police chief of the southwestern megacity of Chongqing.
Wang has turned accuser at the trial in the eastern city of Jinan, but Bo said his testimony was “full of lies and fraud”.
It was the latest flamboyant denunciation by Bo, who has dismissed his wife Gu Kailai as “insane” and compared another prosecution witness to a “mad dog”.
The Intermediate People’s Court in Jinan is posting regular but delayed transcripts of the proceedings on its account on Sina Weibo, a Twitter equivalent, in a move hailed by state media as unprecedented transparency, although no independent verification is possible.
Wang was the key figure in court on Saturday, August 24, testifying against Bo over allegations of abuse of power.
He provided explosive details about the lurid scandal triggered by the death of British businessman Neil Heywood, saying that Bo had punched him after he told the politician his wife was responsible.
“His character is extremely bad, he created rumors… and threw dust in the public’s eyes,” Bo said Sunday. “It’s beneath legal credibility to present such a person as a key witness.
“Wang Lijun was lying during the trial and his testimony was not valid at all. His testimony was full of lies and fraud.
“He said I hit him with my fist instead of slapping him in the face. But the truth is I never learned the technique of Chinese boxing so I wouldn’t be able to have that power.”
Bo on Saturday admitted mistakes relating to the investigation into Heywood’s killing and “some responsibility” for embezzled state funds that were transferred to one of Gu’s bank accounts.
But he denies charges of abuse of power, bribery and embezzlement.
The scandal erupted in advance of a generational shift of power atop the factionalized Communist Party, and Bo’s feisty performance during his trial has astonished a public unfamiliar with the open airing of top-level intrigue.
The hearings are in stark contrast to previous Chinese political trials in which most defendants have humbly confessed their crimes in opaque court proceedings.
Revelations of private jet flights, luxury villas and rare animal meats have held Chinese Internet users spellbound, while Bo has showed open disdain for prosecution witnesses, including Gu.
He confessed to having had extramarital affairs and said Gu moved to Britain because she was angry with him, the court transcripts showed.
The trial was originally widely expected to last only two days but will resume for a fifth day Monday, the court said after adjourning following Sunday’s morning session.
Analysts still believe a guilty verdict and long prison sentence for Bo were agreed beforehand.
Nothing has been said publicly of Bo’s links with other top communist leaders — even though he was once tipped to join the highest echelons of power.
Bo’s populist politics won supporters across China but alienated top party leaders who saw his brash approach as a return to a bygone era of strongman rule. – Rappler.com