Wang Lijun, Chongqing’s former vice mayor and former police chief, stood trial on Monday and Tuesday on charges of bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking in Chengdu, in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
At the trials in the Chengdu Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, prosecutors produced evidence while two lawyers retained by Wang defended him.
After the trials, the court announced that the verdict would be delivered on a day to be decided.
Wang, then Chongqing’s vice mayor, entered the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu without authorization and stayed there on Feb. 6 and 7 this year. The incident created negative impacts at home and abroad.
After the authorities investigated the incident in line with the law, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee announced the termination of Wang’s post as a deputy to the 11th NPC on June 30.
On July 22, Wang was arrested by the State Security Bureau of Chengdu for defection after the Chengdu Municipal People’s Procuratorate approved the arrest. On Aug. 2, after the investigation was completed, the case was handed to the Chengdu Municipal People’s Procuratorate for examination before prosecution.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) assigned the Hefei Municipal People’s Procuratorate in east China’s Anhui Province to investigate Wang for bending the law for selfish ends. After the investigation was completed, the case was also transferred to the Chengdu Municipal People’s Procuratorate for examination on Aug. 2.
The SPP assigned the Sichuan Provincial People’s Procuratorate to investigate Wang for abuse of power and bribery. After the investigations were completed, the cases were separately handed to the Chengdu Municipal People’s Procuratorate on Aug. 8 and Sept. 1.
On Sept. 5, the Chengdu Municipal People’s Procuratorate filed charges against Wang with the Chengdu Municipal Intermediate People’s Court.
The Chengdu Municipal Intermediate People’s Court held a closed-door trial on Monday for Wang on the charges of defection and abuse of power and an open trial on the charges of bribe-taking and bending the law for selfish ends on Tuesday.
Three judges heard the cases, with Zhong Erpu, the court’s deputy chief, as the chief judge. In the prosecutors’ seat were Deputy Chief of the Chengdu Municipal People’s Procuratorate Wang Xin and his two colleagues.
Wang’s family and relatives, journalists, deputies to the people’s congress, political advisors, as well as ordinary citizens attended Tuesday’s trial.
Wang was born on Dec. 26, 1959, in the city of Arxan in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
In late 2007, Wang, then police chief of the city of Jinzhou in northeast China’s Liaoning Province, first met Bogu Kailai, who has been sentenced in another case.
Wang remained close with Bogu Kailai and her family after being transferred to Chongqing Municipality. He had assumed the positions of deputy party chief, deputy chief, party chief and head of Chongqing police and, later, vice mayor of Chongqing.
According to prosecutors, Wang, then police chief of Chongqing, had neglected his duty to investigate and suppress criminal acts and bent the law for personal interests.
Prosecutors said Wang knew perfectly well that Bogu Kailai was seriously suspected of intentional homicide, but he deliberately covered up her crimes so Bogu Kailai would not be held legally responsible.
The circumstances are especially serious. This behavior violates Clause 1 of Article 399 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, prosecutors said.
They added that Wang, as a state functionary who knew state secrets, left his post without authorization and defected to another country’s consulate while he was performing his official duty.
These circumstances are also serious and in violation of Article 109 of the Criminal Law, according to prosecutors.
Wang has violated the country’s relevant laws and regulations by using technical reconnaissance measures against many people on multiple occasions, either without the approval of authorities or by forging approval documents.
These acts have severely undermined the socialist legal system, infringed upon citizens’ legitimate rights and interests and violated Clause 1 of Article 397 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, prosecutors said.
Wang, acting as a state functionary, took advantage of his position and illegally accepted money and property worth more than 3.05 million yuan (484,127 U.S. dollars), in return for securing benefits for other individuals, a violation of Article 385 of the Criminal Law.
Provided with clear facts, valid and ample evidence, Wang should be held criminally responsible for the charges of bending the law for personal interests, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors and members of the defense counsel cross-examined the defendant in court. Prosecutors presented material and documentary evidence, witness testimonies, defendants’ statements and video and audio materials.
The defendant and his defense questioned the evidence. The prosecution and defense teams also debated issues, including facts, evidence and application of the law.
The Chengdu City People’s Procuratorate pointed out in its public prosecution paper that the criminal acts of defendant Wang Lijun have caused serious harm to society and his lesson should be taken as a warning.
The paper points out that as a state functionary, Wang should discipline himself and be clean and honest; as a law enforcement officer, he should stick to his belief in the law; as a Party cadre, he should hold the beliefs that everybody is equal before the law, there is no privilege before institution and there are no exceptions in institutional constraints.
“As China is building a socialist society under the rule of law, anyone who breaks the law should be punished by the law,” it says.
“I acknowledge and confess the guilt accused by the prosecuting body and show my repentance,” Wang said in his final statement at court.
“My acts were crimes, and I hope the serious impacts (caused by my acts) both at home and abroad would be eliminated through the trial. Meanwhile, I hope the trial will issue a warning to society and let more people draw lessons from me,” he said.
“For the Party organizations, people and relatives that have cared for me, I want to say here, sincerely, ‘I’m very, very sorry, I’ve let you down,’” Wang said.
After Wang Lijun entered the U.S. Consulate without authorization, police began to attach more importance to Bogu Kailai’s alleged murder of British national Neil Heywood, which was reported by Wang. The police set up a team to review the case, as well as re-investigated and cracked the case according to law.
Since Wang’s exposure of the case objectively played an important role in cracking it, why was he charged with bending the law for selfish ends? How did the conflicts between Wang and Bogu Kailai’s family come into being and gradually escalate? Why did Wang defect?
Based on an audit of the open trial, a media briefing and introduction by bodies authorized to handle the case, the full process and key points of Wang’s case unfolded as follows: