Monday, 21 May 2012

Ex-Chongqing Police Chief Charged with Treason

Wang Lijun's treason trial may begin next month in Chengdu
Now that blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is safely in the United States, our attention is now turning towards fallen Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun and his impending trial which could be held as early as next month.

The trial will take place in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, where Wang fled and tried to see asylum in the United States consulate. He is charged with treason, perhaps due to his possibility of having leaked state secrets to the Americans.

It was not known whether the trial would be open to the media and the public.

The outcome of this case will give a good indication of how Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai will be treated, as she is accused of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.

While Wang could face the death penalty, some China observers believe he will not be meted out that sentence.

Hong Kong-based China law expert Ong Yew-kim said Wang "neither killed anyone, nor had been caught in possession of weaponry. But I wouldn't be surprised if he receives eight or 10 years of jail terms."

Another source believed that despite Wang's attempt to defect, he had "made a major contribution" to investigations into the Bo scandal. Surely that deserves some brownie points...

The Chinese government is anxious to have these trials wrapped up before the upcoming party congress in the fall which is rumoured to be postponed.

If Wang's trial is made public or at least to all media, not just state-sanctioned ones, then the transparency will give people confidence in their justice system. Meanwhile it would give the rest of us a front-row seat into how Bo ran his fiefdom in Chongqing and how this all connects to the rest of the country politically, economically and socially.

Maybe it's wishful thinking.

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