Chinese prosecutor demands severe punishment for Bo Xilai
Beijing, Aug 26: Prosecutors on Monday demanded "severe" punishment for disgraced Chinese leader Bo Xilai, saying the former Communist Party strongman committed "extremely grave" crimes involving embezzlement and abuse of power.
"The defendant's crimes are extremely grave, and he also refuses to admit guilt. As such, the circumstances do not call for a lenient punishment but a severe one, in accordance with the law," a prosecutor said.
A charismatic Bo, widely expected to be a front runner for a top post in the once-in-a-decade leadership change of the ruling Communist Party of China, was sacked last year as the Party head of over 20 million people strong Chongqing city as well as Party's highest policy making body - the Politburo.
Prosecution which presented several witness including testimony of Bo's wife Gu Kailai and ex-police chief of Chongqing city, once headed by Bo, said sufficient evidence has been provided against him.
Bo admitted that he made mistakes in handling these incidents but insisted that he was not involved in any conducts of power abuse and the responsibilities were all on his wife and a third participant surnamed Wu. Speculation is rife that Bo may get a suspended death sentence like his wife.
The whole court investigation phase of this case was completed yesterday after three and half days of trial, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. At yesterday's hearing, the prosecution and defence cross-examined the testimony that Wang Lijun, ex-police chief of Chongqing Municipality, gave at the court on Saturday on the charge of power abuse against Bo.
Prosecutors also presented more evidence during the trial, regarded as the most sensitive after the 1981 'Gang of Four' trial' involving Mao Zedong's widow.
In the previous days of trial, prosecutors also accused Bo of accepting bribes from businessmen Tang Xiaolin, general manager of Dalian International Development Co. Ltd, and Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group Co. Ltd. and embezzling 5 million yuan from a government project.