China Sentences Ex-Police Chief to 15 Years

Posted September 24th, 2012 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
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China has handed a 15-year sentence to an ex-police chief who helped expose a political scandal that brought down the Communist Party's rising star Bo Xilai.

A court on Monday found Wang Lijun guilty of defection, abuse of power, bribery and bending the law for selfish ends.

Wang did not contest the charges. State media showed him apologizing in court.

“I express my regrets to the court about the crimes I committed,” he told the court. “I will use the rest of my life to repent and make it up to the system and to the sorrows and regrets I caused for people who care about me.”

Authorities claimed that after Wang's attempt to defect failed, he re-opened the investigation into the murder of the businessman, Neil Heywood, and cooperated with authorities. Because he cooperated, prosecutors recommended the court give him a more lenient sentence.

The government's official account also hinted Bo could face criminal charges. While it did not mention the former Communist Party official by name, the report said the local party's “main responsible person at the time” knew about Gu's involvement in the murder, but did nothing.

Bo has not been seen or heard from in months, and is under investigation by the party for “serious” violations of discipline.

The scandal came at a particularly sensitive time for the Communist Party, which is preparing to hand over power to a new generation of leaders at a party congress that is expected to be held in just weeks.