China Continues Trial of Controversial Ex-Police Chief

Posted September 18th, 2012 at 2:00 am (UTC-5)
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The trial of an ex-police chief who revealed details about a major Communist Party scandal has resumed in the central city of Chengdu.

The official Xinhua news agency says Wang Lijun stood “open trial” Tuesday for bribe-taking and bending the law for selfish ends, following a “closed-door trial” Monday on charges of defection and abuse of power.

Foreign journalists were not allowed into either hearing at the Chengdu City Intermediate People's Court, which was surrounded by dozens of police as the hearing began.

Wang went to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in February, where he divulged the murder of a British businessman and implicated the wife of his boss, senior politician Bo Xilai, in the killing. Bo subsequently was removed from the country's Communist leadership and his wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of the murder and handed a suspended death sentence.

Chinese authorities on Monday unexpectedly opened Wang's trial on defection, abuse of power and other charges. His lawyer, Wang Yuncai, who is not related to her client, says the first day of the trial was held in secret because it involved “state secrets.”

The case has exposed deep divisions within the top ranks of China's leadership as it prepares for a generational shift in power. But the fate of Bo — believed to be under house arrest — has not been disclosed.