Bo slapped Chinese police chief probing his wife
Beijing: A top police official at the centre of China's biggest political scandal has told a court that he was rebuked and slapped by disgraced Communist Party leader Bo Xilai for investigating his wife's involvement in the murder of a Briton, prompting him to seek political asylum in the US.
According to an exhaustive testimony of Wang Lijun, Bo had slapped and intimated him for launching investigations into the murder of Neil Heywood, a Britain who was poised to death by Gu Kailai, wife of the sacked leader.
52-year-old Wang's testimony, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency, did not directly mention Bo's name but said "the then leading official of the Communist Party of China Chongqing Committee that Gu Kailai was highly suspected in the November 15, 2011 case".
"On the morning of January 29, 2012 Wang Lijun was angrily rebuked and slapped in the face by the official," the testimony backed by witnesses statements said.
Bo was the Mayor and Party head of the Chongqing municipality for which Wang was the Deputy Mayor and Police Chief.
Both were regarded as buddies before the incident and ruled the city of with ruthless force in the name of putting down crime syndicates.
This is the first time in the entire episode of Heywood murder case, which rocked the party ahead of this year's leadership change, Bo's name obliquely figured.
His name was studiously kept out during the trial of Gu who was already given suspended death sentence while five others have been given varied prison terms.
Bo, 62, a charismatic leader expected to take a top position in this year's leadership change was sacked from all post and currently faced disciplinary investigations. He was expected to go on trial after Wang's trial which concluded yesterday.
After slapping Wang, Bo has removed him as Police Chief and launched investigations against three other officials who worked with him on the case.
Fearing for his life, Wang took the extraordinary step of defecting to the US mission in Chengdu where he stayed for over 33 hours.
His testimony says that On February 6, under the pretext of discussing business, Wang cancelled his original work arrangements and entered the US Consulate General in Chengdu without permission.
Wang entered the US mission on the pretext of engaging in foreign trade issues or diplomatic issues.
According to the indictment of the Chengdu People's Procuratorate, "after briefly discussing issues concerning environmental protection, education and science and technology with diplomats inside the US consulate, Wang immediately claimed that his personal security was threatened because of his investigation of criminal cases. He asked the United States to provide shelter for him and filled out an application for political asylum," it said.
Wang left the US Consulate General in Chengdu of his own volition the next day through the persuasion and advice of relevant organs of Chongqing Municipality and central authorities.
He said he would cooperate with investigations.
Citing his cooperation and his role in unravelling the case Prosecutors have sought light sentence to him at the trial in Chengdu court which ended yesterday.
Besides the complicity in the murder, he was charged with defection, corruption and misuse of power.
The judgement in the case was expected shortly.