Aug 27, 2013

    Prosecutors demand heavy sentence as trial ends

    CHINESE prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence for ousted top politician Bo Xilai as his divisive, dramatic trial ended yesterday, saying his challenge to charges of bribery, graft and abuse of power flew in the face of the evidence.

    The court, announcing the end of the five-day trial, said the verdict would come at a later date.

    Bo has repeatedly said he is not guilty of any of the charges, although he has admitted to making some bad decisions and to shaming his country by his handling of former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun.

    Summing up the evidence, the state's prosecutor said Bo should not be shown leniency, as he had recanted admissions of guilt provided ahead of the trial.

    "We take this opportunity to remind Bo: The facts of the crimes are objective, and can't be shifted around on your whim," the court cited the prosecutor as saying.

    The trial has heard many salacious allegations, with transcripts, probably edited, being carried on the court's official microblog.

    On the final day of his corruption trial, Bo said that Wang decided to flee into the arms of United States diplomats because "he secretly loved (Bo's wife) Gu Kailai and he was confused and overwhelmed by this feeling".

    Wang had made his feelings to Gu clear in a letter, Bo said. He added that, on one occasion, the policeman was so overcome with emotion that he "slapped himself in the face eight times".

    "Gu said to him: 'You're kind of weird.' He replied: 'I used to be weird, now I'm normal.'"

    Bo could theoretically be given the death penalty under the charges, although many observers said that is unlikely.