No alibi, No guru. No teacher. Once upon a time in the east….Apparently the butler did do it…Its so complicated that its not worth really understanding the underlying dynamics of Chinese politics within the context of their national agenda. China, despite what some of in the West wanting to dump Trotskyite cant and Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution back on the burner is just fuel to the fire of what they would not dare to invoke in their own countries. A new version of the opium wars. Its hard to see Bo Xilai as an authentic Maoist, or as some sort of collectivist example leading to revivalism; if there is long march today, its to the stock exchanges and bond trading desks, the meetings on foreign acquisitions and transition form export to consumer economy. China is the world’s banker and there are responsibilties with that role, and the new China is still one with a long imperial tradition, one with an authority streak intrinsic to its national DNA; whether Bo Xilai is an example to others or spilt milk that caught the world’s attention remains basically an internal matter for the Chinese to solve among themselves.
Of course, it is theatrical, even a new genre of course in being Chinese Cinema Noir. A black comedy, but the heads at the top do know what they are doing, a modern realization of Thorstein Veblen’s vision of capitalism where it would evolve to the point of rule by the sages with democracy viewed as messy, expensive, frustrating and complicated… (see link at end) ….BEIJING — AfterO.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder in 1995, a well-connected Chinese lawyer pointed to the case as proof of the failure of the American judicial system.
“An American trial always gives bad people a chance to take advantage of the loopholes,” the lawyer, Gu Kailai, wrote in a 1998 book about her experiences working in the United States. “The Chinese judicial system is fairest…. If you kill somebody, they’ll arrest you, try you and shoot you.”…
…On Thursday, Gu, the wife of former Politburo member Bo Xilai, was on the receiving end of Chinese justice. She appeared in court on charges of poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood, with whom she had a business spat.
Lawyers needed all of seven hours to present evidence in the case. There was no jury at Hefei Intermediate People’s Court, no defense counsel to cross-examine witnesses — in fact hardly any witnesses at all. The evidence was presented in the form of prepared statements, with the exception of forensic evidence showing that Heywood had been poisoned.
At the end of the session, a court official held a news conference at a nearby hotel to announce that Gu, 53, and a codefendant, Zhang Xiaojun, 33, her family’s butler, had confessed to murdering Heywood.
“The defendants did not dispute the accusation of intentional homicide,” the deputy director of the court, Tang Yigan, told foreign reporters, who had been kept away from the courthouse, waiting in the rain behind a police cordon.<
spite the reported confessions, the court’s official verdict will be handed down at the same time as sentencing.
Inside the courtroom, prosecutors described how Gu lured the 41-year-old Heywood to Chongqing, where her husband was Communist Party secretary. She took him to dinner and got him so drunk on expensive whiskey that he vomited and nearly passed out, according to a source in attendance.
With the help of her butler, Gu carried Heywood to his bed inside a hotel, according to a source who was inside the courtroom. When he asked for water, she gave him water laced with poison and left him in bed with a “Do not disturb” sign on the door.
Heywood was found two days later, on Nov. 15.
“She admitted what she did. She said she was sorry for the damage to the country and the party,” said the source, who asked not to be identified.
Although Heywood’s body was promptly cremated, a police official had taken a blood sample. And closed-circuit video showed Gu going into the hotel room where the body was later discovered.
To a large extent, the Chinese legal system has been as much on trial as the defendants.
Gu was taken into custody in March, under a form of extrajudicial detention known as shuanggui, which is reserved for Communist Party members and officials. Her confession was made at a time when she was held incommunicado without access to lawyers hired by her family. Instead, the court assigned attorneys to represent Gu and Zhang.
Although her family and Zhang’s hired defense lawyers, they were not permitted to meet with the defendants and the lawyers were not in court. Instead, the court assigned attorneys to represent them.
…”The criminal law says a defendant can hire his own lawyer, but in a sensitive case like this, the government didn’t want to take any chances,” said Si Weijiang, a criminal defense attorney in Beijing. “They wanted to control the outcome and make sure the lawyers didn’t leak to the press.”
Even without her own lawyer, it appears that Gu enjoyed privileges not accorded to ordinary criminal defendants. Chinese television Thursday showed her in business attire, a black suit over a white blouse, instead of the orange prison garb that defendants usually wear in court. She appeared to have gained weight as well, so much so that bloggers Thursday night were questioning whether it was really Gu who appeared on television.
Chinese law carries the death penalty for premeditated murder, but there are hints she will be spared, with the blame increasingly placed on Heywood.
In court, prosecutors said that Heywood was demanding roughly $14 million from the family, as his cut of a real estate development in Chongqing that had fallen through, the source who attended the trial said.
An email sent by Heywood a few days before his death to 24-year-old Bo Guagua, Gu’s son, threatened, “You must give me the money or you will be destroyed,” said the source.
Several people who sat in the trial gave similar accounts with slight variations — to be expected as attendees were not permitted to take notes or record the proceedings.
A student who attended wrote in a blog that was later deleted from the Chinese Internet that Heywood was alleged to have briefly held Guagua at his home in London, fueling Gu’s fears that her son could be kidnapped.
The statement read by Tang said Gu believed that “Heywood physically endangered the physical safety of her son.” Read More:http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/09/world/la-fg-china-gu-trial-20120810
China is always going to have an inherent P.R. problem with the West, whose need for invidious comparison and a high moral perch knows no bounds. Domestic issues aside, China on the international financial stage has to be credited with basically saving the world economy in 2008 by making the right policy changes in inflating their economy and stimulating domestic demand. If Germany had followed suite and let the trucks full of goods flow from Spain, Greece and Portugal into their market, the Euro crisis would be looking a lot more benign….
(see link at end)…Perhaps the most glaring omission was the trial’s failure to discuss the so-called economic dispute underlying the crime. Prosecutors said Mr. Heywood had been demanding $22 million from the family for a failed real estate venture. Many wondered how Mr. Bo, a civil servant, and Ms. Gu, who had not worked in years, might have been expected to come up with such a sum. The implication, many analysts say, is that the Communist Party was eager to avoid highlighting the sort of unbridled official corruption that many Chinese believe is endemic.
Even Ms. Gu’s emotionally leaden statement at her sentencing inspired disbelief and ridicule. In her brief monologue, broadcast on Monday afternoon on national television, she thanked the court for its magnanimity.
Ma Jian, an exiled Chinese novelist who lives in London, found her performance patently scripted. “Not since Stalin’s show trials of the 1930s,” he wrote in a blog post, “has a defendant so effusively praised a judge who seemed bound to condemn her at a trial where no witness or evidence against her was presented.” Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/world/asia/in-china-gu-kailais-reprieve-reinforces-cynicism.html?pagewanted=all
…According to Gu’s aide Zhang Xiaojun – also convicted of Heywood’s murder – Wang phoned hours after the body was cremated to utter a coded eight-character message to her: “It turned into blue smoke, flying away to the west with the cranes.”
But as time went on, Wang felt Gu was turning on him, Xinhua added. As his colleagues became targets of “illegal investigations”, he began to feel in danger and decided to escape.
That triggered his dash to the US consulate in Chengdu, where he told diplomats of his suspicions – leading to British demands for a reinvestigation of Heywood’s death. Within two months, Bo had been ousted and Gu was detained for murder. Last month she received a suspended death sentence.
Xinhua said Wang’s trial also heard that entrepreneur Xu Ming offered homes worth over 2.85m yuan (£280,000) to a relative of the former police chief in return for the release of three associates who had been detained in Chongqing. Xu, whose association with Bo stretched over two decades, has not been seen since March and is assumed to be in custody.
The former intelligence agent Yu Junshi, another long-term associate of Bo who is thought to have been detained since spring, was cited as renting villas for Wang in exchange for the release of another man.Read More:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/19/bo-xilai-murder-scandal-police-chief