Bo's trial ends (Roundup)

Beijing, Aug 26 (IANS) The trial of disgraced Chinese leader Bo Xilai, who was once a rising star in the Communist Party and is now charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, concluded Monday.

Aug 26 2013, 7:12am CDT | by IANS

Bo's trial ends (Roundup)
Photo Credit: MARK RALSTON, Getty Images

Beijing, Aug 26 — The trial of disgraced Chinese leader Bo Xilai, who was once a rising star in the Communist Party and is now charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, concluded Monday.

The Jinan Intermediate People's Court will announce the verdict at a date yet to be decided.

On Monday morning, prosecutors delivered a summary prosecuting statement and the defendant made a 90-minute-long statement defending himself, followed by his lawyers' defending statement, reported Xinhua.

The two sides expressed their opinions on the facts, evidence and application of laws.

According to the indictment, Bo took the advantage of his position as a civil servant to seek gains for others, as well as accepted bribes in the form of large amounts of money and property.

He also embezzled a large amount of public money and abused his power, seriously harming the interests of the state and people, the document said.

Bo, 64, is former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a former member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

The CPC central committee announced April 2012 that it had decided to suspend Bo's membership in the CPC central committee political bureau and the CPC central committee. The CPC central commission for discipline inspection also filed a case of investigation against Bo, as he was suspected of being involved in serious disciplinary violations.

Prosecutors said the evidence presented in court and during cross-examination fully demonstrated that the facts are clear and evidence is sufficient to charge Bo with the crimes.

The facts of the crimes are objective and will not be altered by the defendant's own will, they stressed.

The fact-finding is based on all the evidence presented in the case and any attempts to deny or overturn the facts are in vain, prosecutors said.

Although the country's legal system has a principle of tempering justice with mercy, a heavy sentence in line with the law should be handed to him, as Bo committed very serious crimes and refused to plead his guilt, said the prosecution.

"Additionally, he is not subject to any terms of leniency by law," they said.

During the court debate, Bo denied the charges, insisting that he was not aware of or involved in the crimes, and questioned the credibility of witness testimony.

His defending lawyers expressed opinions concerning the motive of the defendant, the credibility of evidence and validity of evidence collection.

The presiding judge heard the opinions from both sides. After the court debate, the defendant made a final statement.

The court will carefully and comprehensively review the evidence, fully consider opinions from both sides and make a judgement based on the facts and laws following deliberation by judges and discussion by the judicial committee, said a court spokesman after the trial.

Bo was emotionally stable during the trial, which was held Aug 22 to 26. More than 100 people, including Bo's family and relatives, deputies to people's congresses, political advisors, ordinary citizens and journalists observed the trial.

The defending lawyers, hired with Bo's consent, paid Bo more than 20 visits before and during the trial.

After the trial, Bo's defending lawyer, Li Guifang, told Xinhua that they had read all case files, copied relevant evidence and fully exchanged views on defence strategies with Bo during the visits.


Source: IANS


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