Jinan, China — In the fourth day of China’s increasingly dramatic trial of Bo Xilai, he called the prosecution’s star witness, his former police chief, a “liar with extremely bad character.”
The prosecution accused Bo of threatening and then improperly firing police chief Wang Lijun when he learned of the murder investigation of his wife in the death of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Bo insisted Sunday that Wang was lying throughout his testimony, and that he lacked any credibility or legal standing.
Wang testified Saturday, the first time he and Bo have confronted each other since Wang’s attempted defection to the United States in February 2012, which he said he did because he feared for his safety after Bo hit him during a tense encounter in his office.
But Sunday Bo responded: “He said I didn’t just slap him but punched him. I never practiced martial arts — I don’t possess such striking power,” according to a transcript released by the Jinan Intermediate People’s court.
Bo also said: “After being convicted for abuse of power and defection, he still argued that he didn’t defect but engaged in diplomacy in accordance with regulations.”
Most people expected the trial to follow a pre-planned script, and the pre-determined outcome the result of a political deal between China’s top leaders and Bo.
But thus far Bo has stolen the show, ridiculing witnesses’ testimony and attacking the prosecution’s case. Many are now wondering how far he’s veered off the script.
Half a million people in China are following the trial on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service. The international media is not allowed inside the courtroom. Image/AFP