IN COURT: Wang Lijun, Chongqing's former Vice Mayor and police chief, appears in court in the Chengdu City Intermediate People's Court in Sichuan Province on September 18 (CCTV SCREENSHOT)
Wang Lijun, former Vice Mayor and former police chief of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, stood trial on September 18 in an open court in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, for bribe-taking and bending the law for selfish ends.
One day before that, the Chengdu City Intermediate People's Court held another trial on Wang's two other charges of defection and abuse of power. Because these two charges involved state secrets, the trial on September 17 was a closed-door one.
According to the indictment by the Chengdu City People's Procuratorate, Wang, then chief of Chongqing's Public Security Bureau, had neglected his duty of investigating criminal acts and bent the law for personal gains.
Prosecutors said Wang knew perfectly well that Bogu Kailai, the wife of Bo Xilai, former Party chief of Chongqing and a former member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, was under suspicion of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011. Wang deliberately covered up evidence for Bogu Kailai. On August 20, Bogu Kailai was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve by the Intermediate People's Court of Hefei in east China's Anhui Province.
The circumstances are especially serious, prosecutors said. Wang's behavior violated Clause 1 of Article 399 of the Criminal Law.
Prosecutors said Wang, as a state functionary who knew state secrets, left his post without authorization and defected to the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu on February 6. He was also indicted for the crime of defection, a serious offense violating Article 109 of the Criminal Law, according to prosecutors.
Wang was accused of violating the country's relevant laws and regulations by using technical reconnaissance measures against many people on multiple occasions, either without the approval of authorities or by forging approval documents.
These acts severely undermined the socialist rule of law, infringed citizens' legitimate rights and violated Clause 1 of Article 397 of the Criminal Law, prosecutors said.
Wang, acting as a state functionary, took advantage of his position and illegally accepted money and property worth more than 3.05 million yuan ($484,127) in return for securing benefits for other individuals, violating Article 385 of the Criminal Law.
During the investigation, the prosecuting body informed Wang of his right to retain defense counsel as well as questioned him, heard the opinions of the defense counsel and examined all the case files.
After filing the case, the Chengdu City Intermediate People's Court sent duplicates of the indictment to Wang, informed him of his litigation rights and obligations, informed lawyers to meet Wang and gave them access to the case file, so as to fully safeguard the defendant's litigation rights.
Prosecutors said facts related to Wang's crimes are clear and the evidence is concrete and abundant. According to the law, he should be prosecuted for the crimes of bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking. Wang should receive a combined punishment for all offences. His term of punishment should be in line with Article 69 of the Criminal Law, prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, Wang later ordered his subordinates in the Chongqing police force to collect and preserve evidence of the murder case involving Bogu Kailai. He also reported the possible involvement of Bogu Kailai in the murder to the authorities, provided evidence and willingly assisted in the reinvestigation of the case. Provided Wang made an important contribution to cracking the case, the penalty for the crime of bending the law for personal gains could be lighter.
In addition, Wang produced important clues for exposing serious offences committed by others and played a key part in the investigation of these cases. This can be considered as performing major meritorious services, prosecutors said in the indictment. According to Article 68 of the Criminal Law, he should be given a mitigated punishment.
After his defection to the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu, Wang turned himself in and confessed to the crimes he had committed, which could be considered as voluntary surrender, according to prosecutors. According to Article 67 of the Criminal Law, any criminal who voluntarily surrenders may be given a lighter or mitigated punishment.
The court announced that the judgment will be delivered on a day that has yet to be announced.
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