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Bo Xilai Calls Wife Mad After She Testified Against Him

posted 23 Aug 2013, 07:43 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 23 Aug 2013, 07:43 ]

Day two of the trial of fallen China's politician Bo Xilai ends, during which he called his wife insane after she testified against him.

JINAN CITY, SHANDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (AUGUST 23, 2013) (REUTERS) -  The second day of fallen Chinese politician Bo Xilai's trial ended on Friday (August 23) in eastern China.

During the hearing, Bo called his wife insane after she testified at his landmark trial that he knew of money and a villa in the French Riviera that prosecutors say were given to the couple by a businessman friend.

The video and written testimony by Gu Kailai directly contradicted Bo's robust defence on Thursday (August 22), and appear to set him up to be found guilty inChina's most dramatic trial since the Gang of Four were dethroned in 1976 at the end of the Cultural Revolution.

When asked whether Bo knew that she and their son, Bo Guagua, had received money from plastics-to-property entrepreneur Xu Ming, Gu said - in a video recording shown in court and posted on the court's microblog - that Bo should be aware.

Bo dismissed Gu's testimony as the ravings of a madwoman.

Gu has been jailed for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011, the crime which eventually led to Bo's downfall.

The businessman Xu, who is also in custody, was once close to the Bo family, but also testified against him on Thursday, according to the court microblog feed. Foreign reporters were not allowed into the court.

Bo, the 64-year-old former Communist Party chief of Chongqing metropolis, has been charged with illegally taking almost 27 million yuan ($4.4 million), corruption and abuse of power.

Of that amount, about 21.8 million yuan ($3.56 million) came from Xu and another businessman Tang Xiaolin, the Jinan Intermediate People's Court said, citing the indictment.

Bo also embezzled five million yuan from a government project in the northeastern city of Dalian, where he served as mayor, the court said.

''The hearing lasted for about four hours this afternoon. The court continued investigation into charges of taking bribes from Xu Ming, president of Dalian Shide Group, and embezzlement of five million yuan against the defendant, Bo Xilai,'' court spokesman Liu Yanjie read out a statement at a media briefing after the trial adjourned for the day.

Bo was a rising star in China's leadership circles when his career was stopped short last year by the scandal involving Gu.

On Thursday, observers said the court proceedings were probably scripted and that Bo could receive a pre-arranged sentence in exchange for limited outbursts that would show that the trial was fair, appeasing his followers.

China's state media called Bo arrogant and a liar after he rejected the evidence against him on Thursday.

The comments made by state media were echoed by local residents in the eastern city of Jinan, capital of Shandong province.

"I read in the newspaper that he reversed his own testimony (about taking bribes). He denied it. He cannot just deny his signed confessions. I am sure the court will make its own judgement. It is inappropriate of him to just deny his own confessions. He also refuted his wife's testimony. How can he just reverse his own confessions made when he obviously had a clear mind?'' asked 62-year-old Ms. Jiao, a local resident.

"I think all the corrupt officials should be executed. I really believe so. It is still not enough to execute them ten times. You must provide concrete evidence to prove your innocence. As high-ranking as he already was, why would he take bribes? Take a look at us ordinary people, life is harsh for us," said another resident Ms. Gai.

Bo could face the death sentence, though a suspended death sentence is more likely, which effectively means life imprisonment, or a 20-year term.

His trial is set to resume at 8:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) on Saturday (August 24).