China's disgraced Bo Xilai given life term for corruption

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China's disgraced Bo Xilai given life term for corruption

    Reuters) - A Chinese court sentenced ousted senior politician Bo Xilai to life in jail on Sunday after finding him guilty of corruption and abuse of power, a tough term that gives him little chance of staging any political comeback.

    Bo was a rising star in China's leadership circles and cultivated a loyal following through his charisma and populist, quasi-Maoist policies, especially among those left out in the cold by China's anything-for-growth economic policies.

    But his career was stopped short last year by a murder scandal in which his wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of poisoning a British businessman, Neil Heywood, who had been a family friend.

    While Bo has the right to appeal within 10 days from Monday, the sentence effectively puts an end to his political ambitions and the glamorous lifestyle he enjoyed as a member of China's ruling elite.

    The court in the eastern city of Jinan, where Bo was tried, ordered that all his personal assets be seized, and deprived him of his political rights for life, according to a transcript released by the court's official microblog.

    "Bo Xilai was a servant of the state, he abused his power, causing huge damage to the country and its people ... The circumstances were especially serious," the court said in its judgment.

    State media said he would probably appeal, in which case the supreme court in Shandong province, where Jinan is located, would have to hear the case within two months. As all courts are party controlled, they are unlikely to overturn the verdict.

    While Bo could have been given the death penalty, many observers had felt this unlikely as the party would not have wanted to make a martyr of him.

    Bo did himself few favors with his feisty defense at his 5-day trial, said Zhang Ming, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing. "My predication was for shorter," he said. "His denial of guilt led to a longer sentence."

    The court showed a picture of a handcuffed Bo, with clenched fists in an apparent show of defiance, flanked by two towering policemen who held him by his shoulders and forearms. Two more policemen stood by.

    Heavy security and roadblocks around the courthouse kept bystanders at bay, with no signs of any Bo sympathizers present, unlike at the start of the trial when a handful showed up to express their support for him.

    At the close of Bo's trial last month, prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence, saying his "whimsical" challenge to charges flew in the face of the evidence. The court rejected Bo's defense almost entirely, aside from one small section of the bribery charge related to travel expenses for Bo's wife and their son Bo Guagua paid for by businessman Xu Ming, for which it said the prosecution's case was flawed.

    It also rejected Bo's claims of coming "under psychological pressure" when he said he initially admitted to Communist Party anti-corruption investigators that he had received bribes.

    "The pressure Bo Xilai said he came under does not count as being illegal under the rules about forced confession," it said.

    One of Bo's most high-profile supporters was unbowed by the sentence.

    "Knowing the kind of person he is he will fight to the end," said Sima Nan, a well-known defender of Bo's policies who makes a living appearing on television entertainment shows. "This is like a soap opera and we're only half-way through."

    FIERY DEFENCE

    Bo, 64, who was Communist Party chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, mounted an unexpectedly fiery defense during his trial, denouncing testimony against him by his wife as the ravings of a mad woman hoping to have her own sentence reduced.

    But the court said Gu was clear-minded in her evidence and there was no basis to say she was hoping for her sentence to be cut.

    Bo repeatedly said he was not guilty of any of the charges, though he admitted making some bad decisions and shaming his country by his handling of former Chongqing police chief, Wang Lijun, who first told Bo that Gu had probably murdered Heywood.

    Wang fled to the U.S. consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu in February last year after confronting Bo with evidence that Gu was involved in the murder. Wang was also jailed last year for covering up the crime.

    The state prosecutor had said Bo should not be shown leniency as he had recanted admissions of guilt ahead of his trial. Senior party figures feared Bo could stage a political comeback one day if he was not dealt a harsh sentence, sources told Reuters after the trial.

    A light sentence could have undermined President Xi Jinping's pledge to go after corrupt political heavyweights as harshly as those lower down the pecking order.

    Bo may still end up being released early, said Shang Baojun, a prominent human rights lawyer. "Release on bail and medical parole are both common for government officials," Shang said.

    China's disgraced Bo Xilai given life term for corruption | Reuters

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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Could Bo Xilai be housed in China's 'luxury' prison?

    Like father, like son? Bo Xilai was once a shining star in the Chinese Communist Party. He is now a tarnished official and has been found guilty on charges of corruption, embezzlement and abuse of power.

    He might soon begin a lengthy sentence in the same Soviet-style prison where his father, Bo Yibo, served time during China's tumultuous Cultural Revolution.

    Qincheng prison was built on the northern hills of Beijing in 1958. Using Soviet funding, the prison was originally constructed to house Chinese nationalists who ran afoul of Mao's communist conquerors.

    Today, Qincheng remains China's only "luxury" prison, housing political prisoners who are treated like ordinary inmates, and high-ranking party officials, who enjoy a series of perks.

    Qincheng's elite prisoners can watch television between 14:00 and 21:00 and can walk the prison grounds alone up to six times per week, according to a recent article in the Beijing News, a reputable daily newspaper.

    Instead of wearing the prison's usual black uniforms, former officials are permitted to wear clothing provided by their families, the newspaper added.

    Prisoners at Bo Xilai's level enjoy better meals too. Unlike regular inmates, elites can drink milk at breakfast. Lunch and dinner consist of two Chinese dishes and a bowl of soup, sometimes prepared by a chef from a Beijing hotel. After each meal, each high-ranking prisoner receives an apple.

    Much of the information on Qincheng is second-hand. The Chinese authorities are reluctant to provide concrete information on where convicted criminals are sent and photos of Qincheng are difficult to acquire.

    It is not even certain that Bo will go to Qincheng. Some analysts floated the possibility that the situation around him is so politically sensitive, he might serve time in a facility built just for him.

    However, most of the people interviewed by the BBC believe Bo will follow in the footsteps of other fallen officials by heading to Qincheng.

    "The possibility that Bo Xilai will be sent somewhere other than Qincheng is almost zero," predicts high-profile Beijing lawyer, Mo Shaoping. "All ministry-level officials and higher go there."

    The lengthy list of former inmates includes Mao Zedong's feisty widow, Jiang Qing, who served a decade there before she was released on medical grounds in 1991, months before committing suicide.

    Bo Xilai's own father, Bo Yibo, was jailed in Qincheng after he was declared to be a "counter-revolutionary". According to the New York-based group, Human Rights in China, several Tiananmen-era protesters are still serving life sentences in Qincheng.

    "The conditions are much better than a normal prison," Mr Mo adds, explaining that inmates have access to showers and baths, libraries and television.

    China's current leaders have personal reasons for wanting to perpetuate this. Nicholas Bequelin, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, explains: "How Bo is treated at the trial and after his conviction is the precedent that it will establish as to how other eventual princelings might be treated in the future. This is something that every princeling has an interest in, irrespective of their feelings towards Bo Xilai himself."

    "Formerly high-ranking party members are generally treated better than ordinary inmates, especially in relation to detention conditions [private cell] healthcare, visits, exemptions from certain prison rules etc. As long as the arrangements are approved 'upstairs' the prison will oblige.

    "As with all the other aspects related to Bo's case, the standard rules and procedures won't apply. Even disgraced, Bo is still part of the party's 'family' because of his father."

    'Scary and depressing'
    Qincheng's ordinary prisoners did not find their accommodations very comfortable.

    Tiananmen Square demonstration organiser Wang Dan stayed in Qincheng for 19 months starting in 1989. In his memoirs, he described the prison's atmosphere as "scary and depressing".

    "The food was awful," he remembered. "Three times a day, we were served corn buns with some cucumbers, potatoes and eggplants. Without any meat and no oil in the vegetables, the buns were not filling or nourishing. I craved bigger portions."

    Even though the guards took pains to prevent Wang from interacting or even spotting other Tiananmen student leaders, he had brief interactions with them.

    "Knowing that I was surrounded by friends, I no longer felt lonely. In the end, I simply treated Qincheng as a university, where I learned my lessons in life. With my friends living in 'dorms' nearby, the scary and depressing prison became more habitable."

    Bo is more likely to face enemies than friends in prison. According to Hong Kong media reports, Bo's former right-hand man, Wang Lijun, is serving his sentence in Qincheng prison.

    Wang is thought to have ignited Bo Xilai's downfall when he fled to the US consulate to report Bo and his wife Gu Kailai's involvement in the murder of Neil Heywood. Once friends, Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun recently faced off at Bo's trial.

    At least Bo probably would not have any awkward run-ins with his wife in Qincheng. Gu Kailai was convicted of the murder of British businessman, Neil Heywood, last year.

    She is thought to be serving her sentence in Hebei province's Yancheng facility, described by China's Ministry of Justice as a "garden-style prison". Some inmates, a ministry report proudly explains, even write poetry when staying there.

    Despite Qincheng prison's "luxury" label, Bo likely faces years of misery ahead.

    Liu Zhijun, the former railways minister, is also serving at least a decade in Qincheng after he was convicted of accepting $9.4m (£5.9m) in bribes. According to China's Phoenix television, a miserable Liu seems to have learned his lesson: he recently warned his daughter to stay away from politics.

    Even the prison's architects might agree. The director of Beijing's Public Security Bureau in the late 1950s, Feng Jiping oversaw the construction of Qincheng prison. Years later, he ended up there himself after he was declared to be a Communist Party "traitor".

    "If I had known I would serve time there," he once said, "I would have made the prison nicer."

    BBC News - Could Bo Xilai be housed in China's 'luxury' prison?
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China did not dare hang him as they do for Ministers who are lesser in importance than Bo.

    Had they given Bo the death penalty which is the case for most, China would have burnt.

    Bo was a popular leader!

    The CCP's justice system is tempered with the sagacity of knowing what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander!

    The courage, authority and will of Mao is surely missing.

    Mao killed millions in the Cultural Revolution and not one could do a sausage to him!

    And Mao had his way!

    What a man!

    What a Leader!

    He made zombies out of the Chinese!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    He needs to read about Jim Curley.

    James Michael Curley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Scratch the dirt a little more and you will find they are all a part of the mob looting China with impunity since the deprived Mao regime Chinese are enamoured by the crumbs that are thrown their way and so there is no protests!
     
  7. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Dont you complain that China executes too many each year? I guess CCP is paying attention to your complaint.

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  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The accused is not just a common person in China, however. Is there a possibility he may have the life sentence commuted?
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Actually, I don't complain.

    I only state that the justice system is lopsided and not fair.

    Notice how Bo is going to enjoy his so called punishment being a princeling and a person whose can cause chaos in China, he having a huge following, if given it rough.

    While, other Ministers who have been declared guilty of corruption were sentenced to death!
     
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  10. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, which ministers are you refering to?

    High rank CCP officials of Bo's kind were rarely sentenced to death penalty in China. The most recent cases of high rank CCP officials being executed happened in Zhu Rongji's era, in which the vice governor of Jiangxi province and the secretary of Guangxi provincial party committee were sentenced to death and then executed.

    I know you dont like it, but I am still gonna ask, how does India justice system handle the corrupted goverment officials? Answer that, then we are gonna talk about what is fair and what is not fair.

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  11. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very likely! But even that it's possible he is still gonna die as a prisoner, just like Chen Xitong, the convicted mayor of Beijing city, who died this year before finishing the 16-year service.

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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    So, you have now stop taking recourse to pious platitude and mealy mouthed homilies?

    Now, the excuse is amnesia?
     
  13. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why dont answer the two simple questions first? Or you just dont know how?

    Typical reactions from you when you dont have a clue how to respond.

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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Must I have to recount what is known to even the illiterates?

    Do you not know anything of your OWN country?

    Or is the censorship that bad?
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Will China's leaders regret Bo Xilai's fall?g

    22 September

    Will China's leaders regret Bo Xilai's fall?
    By Kerry Brown
    Professor of Chinese politics, University of Sydney

    Bo's fall has been dramatic - but will his legacy be erased easily?

    With Bo Xilai's demise, the Communist Party of China has lost the most talented politician of his generation.

    It is a bit like the UK Labour Party dismissing Tony Blair just before 1997 when it stood to win the election that year, or the Democrats in the US in 1992 dumping Bill Clinton.

    Bo's charisma and his natural political gifts put him in the same league as these figures.

    And had he been a politician in a democracy, it is even possible that he could have survived the misdeeds of his wife and his closest ally Wang Lijun, because the brute fact is that in the courtroom in Jinan where he was tried in August not a shred of evidence connected him to their crimes.

    The worse that could be said of him was that he was the victim of misguided loyalty.


    Bo was also the only leader of his generation to truly try to reach across from the privileged elite zone of power in modern China and speak directly to people”

    Bo's fall was good news to his many enemies in the Communist Party elite and made their lives, despite its destabilising drama and surprise, in the end much easier in managing the horse-trading around the leadership transition in late 2012.

    Bo would have been a hard person to leave out of the new line-up, but also a very tough person to place well. Some speculated that he could be made the head of the National People's Congress, or of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Both would have offered natural power bases for him to mobilise public opinion. It would have been very hard to sideline him.

    The campaigns that Bo was most publicly associated with while in Chongqing - the clampdown on the mafia and the red song campaigns - were regarded with distaste by many commentators.

    The first certainly involved the delivery of rough justice and was associated with a lot of brutality. But defenders of Bo might argue that he was pitting himself against some of the least attractive, most venal members of contemporary Chinese society - snakeheads, mafia bosses and criminal leaders, who were not slouches when it came to dolling out violence themselves.

    The fact that Bo was willing to take them on and stand up for the authority of the party was at least a step closer to greater rule of law and predictability in society. At least people could be assured there was only one entity bossing them about - the government led by the party - rather than multiple illegal ones.


    In Chongqing, residents saw crime fall under Bo Xilai

    Bo was also the only leader of his generation to truly try to reach across from the privileged elite zone of power in modern China and speak directly to people.

    That was the basis of his popularity, and perhaps the reason for why his treatment in Jinan at least gave him some voice and tried to paint him as at the heart of a highly dysfunctional and unsavoury family.

    It was always unlikely that people would take to the streets in support of Bo in sufficient numbers to threaten the party. But nor could they bury him without a voice, and their mode of attack- the venality and uncontrolled behaviour of his wife and security chief Wang Lijun - were narrow but effective modes of attack.

    Unlikely return
    Bo has been sentenced, and, despite the great exception of Deng Xiaoping who came back from the political graveyard three times, he is highly unlikely to ever emerge again as a leader.

    To bring people clattering down as Bo was is not sustainable for the party, and in the end only reinforces its image as a brutal, intrigue led cabal rather than a modernizing and modern political force.”

    If the current system is maintained (and the likelihood is that at least in the short to medium term it will be) then Bo will enjoy the same fate as other high-level felled figures such as the late Beijing Mayor Chen Xitong, who was toppled in the late 1990s, and Party Secretary of Shanghai Cheng Liangyu, from the mid 2000s.

    Both of these disappeared into silence and obscurity. Bo will no doubt join them.

    But his legacy will not be so easy to dispel, nor the questions that he raised both while in power and also when he fell.

    Those politicians that remain have to contemplate mobilising public opinion in a more imaginative way than has been done so far.

    They have to try, as Bo, to reach out to people more directly, and appeal to their emotions and aspirations in ways that he evidently did, at least while in Liaoning and then Chongqing.

    And there has to be a different way to deal with figures like Bo, who pose a political threat through their difference to everyone else.

    To have those people brought down as Bo was is not sustainable for the party, and in the end only reinforces its image as a brutal, intrigue-led cabal rather than a modernising political force.

    No justice?
    Justice in the end was not served neither in Jinan nor in Bo's sentencing.


    Bo's trial was widely watched - but will he ever be centre-stage again?
    Too many questions remain about what precisely the connection between his wife and her claimed murder of the British businessman Heywood was, and about the real nature of his abuse of power and corruption.

    The elephant lurking in the room throughout this process has been the fact - known to everyone but clearly expressed by none - that Bo's treatment was, from beginning to end, based on political rather than criminal issues.

    His sentence was almost certainly sanctioned by the Standing Committee Politburo, and his treatment closely managed by them.

    His real sentence was delivered by Wen Jiabao, then Premier, at the National People's Congress in March 2012, whose devastating indirect attack on Bo sealed his fate. From that moment, Bo was a dead man walking.

    But his final departure is a huge loss for political life in China, and for the party, no matter what sheen it tries to put on things. And it may well be one that, in the years ahead, it comes to rue and regret.

    Kerry Brown is professor of Chinese politics at the University of Sydney, team leader of the Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN) funded by the European Union, and an Associate Fellow of the Asia Programme at Chatham House.

    BBC News - Will China's leaders regret Bo Xilai's fall?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Is Bo more sinned against than sinning?

    Are those who have gone against him any more honest?
     
  17. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The crack down on Bo is nothing more than a power play. Most of the upper echelons of CCP are just as corrupt and the lower levels are as corrupt when accounted for scale.
     
  18. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'll digress more on this later, but Chinese "corruption", insofar as how it influences the decision-making incentives of upper officials, is far different from the corruption afflicting other developing countries. This does not mean it is any better, but it is qualitatively different and needs to be examined.
     
  19. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    The scale of CCP corruption is much greater than any other nation. It is the same type but quantitate my different with the amount of easy loans floating the system.
     
  20. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, you must if you can. I certainly dont know which high rank CCP officials were executed recently.

    Why dont you be kind and enlighten me, who is poorly confined to a strictly censored coutry and doesnt even know what was going on with my own coutry?

    Please give me names.

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  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    For starters would this do?


    A Chinese court has sentenced Song Chenguang, former senior political advisor of east China's Jiangxi Province, to death with two years of probation for bribery.

    Song, former vice chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
    (CPPCC), was convicted of taking 12.63 million yuan ($2 million) in bribes from 1998 to 2010, a statement from the Intermediate People's Court of Tai'an city said.
     

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