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2012/09/22

What ever happened to Wang Lijun. He just had a trial. Here's how it went.

-The Saga Continues... 

Wang Lijun—Chongqing's former police chief who fled to the US consulate back in February—went on trial this week. It ended without a verdict, after a secret trial Monday, and a partially public trial Tuesday.

State-run media were the only media allowed at today's trial, so there's a lot that the public doesn't know. But that's also sparked a lot of speculation about what will happen to Wang, and what the trial means for other Communist Party officials. On China Focus, we talk about what we learned from the trial, why prosecutors went out of their way to explain Wang's mitigating circumstances, and how what wasn't said at the trial is just as important as what was.
http://youtu.be/qLwkLcN0e_k



Wang Lijun's two day trial in China ended on Tuesday, with the former police chief of Chongqing not contesting his charges.

The trial, announced for Tuesday, began unexpectedly on Monday at the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court. It was a closed hearing because the two charges heard on the day--defection and abuse of power—apparently involved state secrets.

Tuesday's trial heard additional charges of accepting bribes and "bending the law for selfish ends." The hearing was meant to be open, but foreign reporters were kept outside.

The two day trial ended without a verdict, but a court statement delivered to reporters later suggested Wang could be treated with leniency.

[Yang Yuquan, Court official]
"Wang Lijun's defection was under special circumstances, and he brought an end to it. Then he voluntarily left the U.S. consulate, and confessed all of the main details to Chinese authorities, so he voluntarily gave himself up."

The court statement indicated Wang acted in his favor in the cover up of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, by helping with the investigation later. Gu Kailai, the wife of Wang's former boss, Bo Xilai was convicted last month for Heywood's murder.

[Yang Yuquan, Court official]
"Defendant Wang Lijun later demanded that the officers involved in the Chongqing Public Security Bureau restart the file on Gu Kailai, to investigate and supplement evidence, and to preserve material evidence, he also reported Gu Kailai's involvement in murder to relevant government departments, provided evidence and material, actively assisted in re-examination, and made important contributions to breaking through the case by the public security authorities, so his crime of bending law for selfish ends should be extenuated given the circumstances."

Wang's sentencing will be announced at a later date. His trial is the latest installment of the political saga that played out in public after he fled to the US Consulate in Chengdu on February 6th. Now, attention will be turned to how the fractured Communist Party leadership will deal with Bo Xilai—ahead of the power transition at the upcoming 18th Party Congress.
http://youtu.be/dvlaeax6XkA


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