Verdict in Bo Xilai aide case 'due on Monday'

Chinese ex-police chief Wang Lijun expected to be found guilty after his trial which concluded earlier this week.

    Verdict in Bo Xilai aide case 'due on Monday'
    Wang, right, was a close associate of Bo, left, at the time the top Communist Party official in Chongqing [Reuters]

    Judgement in the case of Chinese ex-police chief Wang Lijun, who was tried for defection and other offences in a scandal that  brought down top politician Bo Xilai, will be given on Monday, a court official says.

    Wang fled to the US consulate in Chengdu in February, causing a crisis that saw Bo sacked and his wife convicted of murder, revealing deep divisions in the upper echelons of Chinese politics ahead of a generational power transfer.

    "The verdict in the Wang Lijun case will announced on September 24," a spokeswoman for the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court, who gave her surname as Sheng. told the AFP news agency.

    The ex-police chief "did not raise an objection" to charges of defection, abuse of power, bribe-taking and bending the law for selfish ends during a two-day trial which ended on Tuesday, a court statement said.

    State run news-agency Xinhua quoted Wang as saying at his trial: "I acknowledge and confess the guilt accused by the prosecuting body and show my repentance."

    Inside Story: Murder, cover-ups and a political conspiracy?

    The timing for judgement in the Wang case as announced by the Chengdu court is relatively soon after his trial.

    Wang is almost certain to be found guilty on all the charges, and the maximum penalty available is death.

    But his sentence is likely to be less severe after Tuesday's court statement quoted both prosecutors and defence saying his co-operation with authorities made him eligible for a more lenient outcome.

    Wang, 52, was a close associate of Bo, then the top Communist Party official in the sprawling metropolis of Chongqing.

    But relations between Bo and Wang turned sour early this year, months after British businessman Neil Heywood, a close associate of Bo's family, was found dead in a Chongqing hotel room.

    Bo's wife Gu Kailai was handed a suspended death sentence - usually commuted to life in prison - for Heywood's murder last month.

    Bo has not been seen in public for months and faces an internal party investigation for "serious" violations of discipline.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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