Prosecutors seek heavy punishment for Bo Xilai

Prosecutors seek heavy punishment for Bo Xilai

CHINA - Prosecutors called on Monday for heavy punishment for former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai because of his lack of remorse, as the court completed the high-profile corruption trial.

Bo, 64, a former member of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Political Bureau, had stood trial since Thursday at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. A verdict has not yet been issued.

Legal experts believe the case has marked a new start for judicial transparency in China, as much of the court transcript was posted online.

On Monday, the prosecutors accused Bo of having committed "extremely serious crimes" and refusing to confess. Bo denied all charges throughout the trial.

Prosecutors said Bo had admitted to some crimes when the case was being investigated, but in court he denied his previous testimony.

Bo responded by saying that the law guarantees his right to candidly give his opinion in court and prosecutors should not deem it as bad behaviour.

Prosecutors said Bo's behaviour in court does not merit any lenient punishment, and he must be strictly punished in accordance with the law.

During court debate on Monday morning, prosecutors claimed that the evidence to charge Bo with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power is "authentic and sufficient", and that the facts are clear.

They allege he accepted 21.79 million yuan ($3.56 million) in bribes and embezzled 5 million yuan.

Bo insisted that he did not accept bribes from Tang Xiaolin, general manager of Dalian International Development and Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group.

Bo admitted that he had helped Tang obtain preferential quotas to import cars and helped Xu work on petrochemical projects, but he claimed that he was doing so out of public duty rather than for private gain.

The prosecutors said Bo knew that his wife Bogu Kailai had accepted a French villa worth 2.32 million euros ($3.1 million) from Xu Ming, and Bogu Kailai's testimony presented at the court on Friday supported the accusation.

However, Bo argued that prosecutors could not find sufficient evidence to prove his knowledge of the villa and said his wife had kept secrets from him for 10 years.

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