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China holds secret trial of top police official

September 17, 2012 19:39 IST

China on Monday secretly held the trial of a top police official who had sneaked into United States consulate seeking refuge and sparking off the country's biggest political scandal ahead of much awaited political transition.

The trial of Wang Lijun, once a close associate of disgraced Communist Party leader Bo Xilai was held at a court in South West China's Chengdu city, a day ahead of his original court date.

The trial was scheduled to be held on Tuesday in People's Procuratorate of Chengdu City but his lawyer said it was held on Monday itself, the BBC reported.

Wang is charged with defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking. His defence lawyer Wang Yuncai told the media outside the court that Wang's trial was divided into two parts, private and public.

On Monday's trial confined to the private part of the case which included state secrets, which included his entry into US mission in Chengdu and bending law for his own benefit.

He had stayed at the Consulate for 33 hours and came out following certain assurances from central police. Wang, 52, was the police chief of Chongqing city, which was governed by Bo until he fell out with the Communist leader early this year over the investigations into Bo's wife Gu Kailai involvement in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Gu was given a suspended death sentence by yet another court and five others including four police officials who assisted Wang have already been given varied sentences. His defection to US mission had resulted in the down fall of Bo, a rising star in China's Communist Party.

He was expected to get elected to a top position in the Congress to be held in the next few weeks to select new leader. Bo had been removed from all posts and is expected to go on trial for trying to protect his wife.

According to the indictment issued by the court on Monday, Wang had known beforehand that Gu Kailai was under serious suspicion of murdering Neil Heywood, but he consciously neglected his duty and bent the law for personal gain so that she would not be held legally responsible.

Wang was indicted for the crime of bending the law for personal gain. Prosecutors said Wang, while performing his official duty, left his post without authorisation and defected to the United States Consulate General in Chengdu. He was also indicted for the crime of defection.

Wang, started his career in law enforcement in the Inner Mongolia Region in 1984 and later moved over to Chongqing in 2008, where he became famous along with Bo over cracking down hard on crime syndicates.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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