Bo rejects testimony from wife
Updated: 2013-08-24 01:01
By AN BAIJIE in Jinan and ZHAO YINAN in Beijing (China Daily)
Defendant says spouse 'always tells lies' as high-profile trial set for third day
Fallen senior official Bo Xilai rejected his wife's testimony, saying that she is "crazy" and "always tells lies" on Friday, the second day of a high-profile public trial.
Bo, 64, is a former member of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Political Bureau and former Party chief of Chongqing.
Prosecutors accused Bo of accepting bribes worth about 21.8 million yuan ($3.5 million) from Tang Xiaolin, general manager of Dalian International Development, and Xu Ming, chairman of the Dalian Shide Group, and of embezzling 5 million yuan in public funds from the Dalian government.
He was also accused of abusing power when dealing with his wife Bogu Kailai's murder case and the defection of his associate, Wang Lijun, in 2012.
During the session at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Shandong province on Friday, the prosecutors presented evidence to show that Bo accepted a large sum of money and property, including a French villa, from Xu, through his wife Bogu Kailai, and his son, Bo Guagua.
Prosecutors played a video filmed on Aug 10, in which imprisoned Bogu Kailai gave testimony. In the video, Bogu Kailai said that Xu provided funds for her to buy a villa in France and that Bo was aware of this.
Bogu Kailai said in the video that Xu offered money to buy airline tickets for her family and a scooter for her son Bo Guagua and that Bo Xilai was also aware of this.
The video was publicized on the micro blog of the court at noon. It was forwarded more than 10,000 times as of 8 pm on Friday.
Prosecutors also read testimony given by Bogu Kailai and Frenchman Patrick Devillers.
Bo said that his wife's testimony was made under mental duress and in a bid to reduce her sentence. Bogu Kailai was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for intentional homicide in August 2012.
Bo claimed that the evidence was irrelevant, saying he had only a vague impression of the amounts mentioned and no one had told him exactly how much money was involved.
Prosecutors responded directly, pointing out that Bo had expressed numerous conflicting views on key facts during his defense.
Prosecutors said that the evidence presented in court had been gathered legally from clear sources.
On Friday afternoon, Wang Zhenggang, former director of the Dalian bureau of urban and rural planning and land, appeared in court to give testimony regarding the 5 million yuan embezzlement charge against Bo.
Bo questioned Wang over his testimony.
Bo appeared calm and physically healthy during the trial, and the court approved all of Bo's applications to defend himself, said Liu Yanjie, spokesman for Jinan Intermediate People's Court.
A total of 110 people, including five relatives of Bo and 19 journalists, attended the trial on Thursday and Friday, Liu said.
The court will continue to hear the case on Saturday to maintain the continuity of the trial, as agreed by prosecutors, the defendant and his lawyers, Liu said.
Wang Minyuan, a criminal procedure researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that continuing the trial into the weekend showed the seriousness of the judges.
"Evidence is presented in court in a logical manner to prove a suspect is guilty or not, so it will be better not to suspend a hearing for too long," he said.
"Cross-examination also requires coherence to some degree, although the public does not need to worry if a witness will be affected during adjournments, as long as the quarantine measures are effective."
Standing laws in China don't include specific stipulations regarding when a court should adjourn during a lengthy trial, and the decision of an adjournment is usually in the hand of the judges.
"Generally, a court hearing lasts for eight hours in one day with three breaks, but there are examples when a trial has lasted until midnight. That usually happens when the court was dealing with a complicated lawsuit with more than one defendant."
Although there is only one defendant in Bo's case, Wang said some evidence being presented to court dates back almost two decades, and what had happened was complicated.
Bian Jianlin, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said all the parties involved in the trial have performed their duty according to the law over the past two days.
"It indicates the rule of law is going forward in China."
Xinhua contributed to this story.