Bo attacks credibility of one-time confidant

Bo attacks credibility of one-time confidant
Bo Xilai challenged former police chief Wang Lijun's testimony on Sunday that he had punched the policeman when he told him that his wife Gu Kailai was a murder suspect. It was a slap, he said. "I haven't learnt boxing."

CHINA - Seizing the chance to defend himself publicly, former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai tore into the credibility of a confidantturned- betrayer, as China's most-watched court trial looks to end on Monday.

"This person's character is extremely vile... To have him as a key witness means that the law loses credibility," said Bo of his former police chief Wang Lijun, who had testified against him.

Bo, 64, has denied using his powers illegally to stop an investigation into a murder by his wife Gu Kailai after Wang tipped him off about it in late January last year.

A former member of the Communist Party's elite 25-man Politburo, Bo also faces charges for embezzling and taking bribes amounting to nearly 27 million yuan (S$5.6 million).

A Jinan court said on Sunday that both the prosecution and defence have finished presenting and examining evidence. This means the trial will likely wrap up on Monday, with closing arguments by both sides, lawyers told The Straits Times.

But the verdict may take at least another week, going by the trial of Wang, who was sentenced to 15 years' jail last September for crimes including graft and defection.

Sunday's highlight was Bo's challenge of Wang's testimony that he had punched the policeman when he told him that Gu was a suspect in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011.

The court also saw a medical report that said Wang had suffered damage to his left eardrum.

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