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China's Bo Admits Knowing Of Embezzled Funds

posted 24 Aug 2013, 03:08 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 24 Aug 2013, 03:09 ]

China's state broadcaster releases more footage showing ousted politician Bo Xilaispeaking in court on the third day of his trial.

JINAN CITY, SHANDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (AUGUST 24, 2013)  (CCTV) -  Ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai accepted responsibility for five million yuan ($817,000) in funds he is accused of embezzling which ended up in his wife's bank account, saying he had let his attention wander, in testimony read out in court on Saturday (August 24).

Bo, once a rising star in China's leadership, is facing charges of corruption, bribery and abuse of power in China's most dramatic trial since the Gang of Four were dethroned in 1976, at the end of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution.

Chinese state broadcaster, CCTV showed footage of Bo in court speaking during the third day of the trial.

The court read out testimony it said Bo provided on April 2, in which he admitted to knowing about the money, siphoned off from a government building project.

Bo said that Wang Zhenggang, former director of the urban and rural planning bureau in Dalian, where Bo once served as mayor, told him in 2002 that he suggested to Bo the money be used by Bo's wife and son, who was studying overseas.

Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was given a suspended death sentence, effectively life in prison, last year after being found guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood, a death which led to the scandal surrounding Bo after Bo's then police chief alleged Bo had tried to cover up the crime.

Bo said he agreed to Wang speaking to Gu about the money because he "lacked alertness", which is how the money ended up going to her.

Bo's career was stopped short last year by the scandal involving Gu and he was sacked as Communist Party chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing.

Bo also disputed Gu's assertion in her written testimony that the money was needed to support their son, Guagua, who was studying in Britain, repeating he thought Gu was possibly trying to get herself a lighter sentence.

Bo suggested Gu was angry with him at the time, as he had had an affair.

On the first day of the trial, on Thursday, Bo mounted a feisty defence of charges he received more than 20 million yuan in bribes.

The disgraced politician said that he had initially admitted to Communist Party anti-corruption investigators receiving the bribes as he had been "under psychological pressure".

Bo also said he been framed by one of the men accused of bribing him, businessman Tang Xiaolin, who he called a "mad dog".

copyright CCTV