Among the protests of his supporters, the Chinese leader is deposed also tried to block the investigation of the crime committed by his wife.
Bo Xilai had 17 months without appearing in public
Under a tight police cordon, Thursday has started the trial of Bo Xilai, the popular Communist leader purged for corruption last year and whose fall from grace has unleashed a power struggle between factions of the Chinese regime. In his first public appearance after nearly a year and a half in detention, Bo Xilai has been accused by the prosecutor to accept, allegedly two bribes totaling 21.8 million yuan (2.67 million) and embezzling five million yuan (621,000 euros) a public construction project. He has been indicted for an alleged crime of abuse of power by blocking the investigation of the crime committed by his wife, Gu Kailai, who last year was sentenced to death but with a suspended sentence – for poisoning in November 2011 Neil Heywood, the British partner helped them launder their money out of China.
As explained by the court spokesman Liu Yanjie, Bo Xilai received bribes through both his wife and his son, Bo Guagua, who is studying law at Columbia University, in the United States. One of them was paid by Xu Ming, a business owner family friend Dalian Shide Group, and the other by Tang Xiaolin, CEO of Hong Kong’s export signature Dalian International Development.
Although experts agree that this trial is not a farce because there has been an agreement between the various branches of the Communist Party, Bo Xilai latter refused bribe. “On the issue of Tang Xiaolin gave me money three times, once admitted against my will during the investigation of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection,” said the judge, according to details revealed in court through Weibo account (the Chinese Twitter).
The question is whether Bo Xilai finally accept the charges, as did his wife at his trial for the death of Hewyood, or use public view to deepen the division of the Communist Party which led ouster. Contrary to what is usual, the trial will last until Friday morning, according to state television CCTV. Even so, man is sure a conviction because Bo Xilai not only fighting a judicial system controlled by the authoritarian regime in Beijing, but also against the likelihood: 98 percent of the cases decided by the Chinese courts just a failure against the defendant.
Far from Chongqing, southwest China’s megacities who ran Bo Xilai, and where he still has many supporters, the hearing is held in Jinan, capital of Shandong Province. Defined by propaganda as “open trial”, the process also has an audience of 110 people and 19 journalists, all selected by the regime, which did not specify the means to which they belonged.
While convoys official vehicles introduced in court, more than 150 foreign journalists flocked to its doors after the police cordon, which could only be accessed with accreditation. On the other side of the police line, which had cut the access road to the court, the “outraged” Chinese took advantage of the trial to protest the abuses of the regime.
Upholding a portrait of Mao, a symbol that the police did not dare to snatch from the hands, a supporter of Bo Xilai defended him by “serving the Chinese people.” Come from the city of Xian, criticized the authoritarian regime in Beijing for “not distribute wealth among the people ‘, a common discourse among those who have benefited from the progress that has brought the much-vaunted Chinese economic miracle. Along with the followers of Bo Xilai also expressed “petitioners”, as known to the aggrieved by the injustice of the authorities as illegal expropriation of their lands.
At 64 years and after having held the positions of Minister of Commerce and member of the Communist Party Central Committee, Bo Xilai is facing a long prison term. But, as explained to ABC Edward Friedman, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Bo Xilai go to trial if the various factions of the Communist Party would not have agreed on the result.” In his opinion, “the groups who identify with Bo Xilai, as hardliners linked to propaganda, security and oil industry, have had to do battle to ensure that the trial is not used by reformers to damage their interests. “