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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bo Xilai Defiant As Trial Begins

According to lengthy transcripts the court released in an extraordinary show of transparency, Mr. Bo, 64, called his wife’s assertions that she had noticed anonymous deposits in their bank account “laughable.” He accused a businessman who had recorded video testimony against him of having “sold his soul.” And he discounted his earlier confession to taking bribes, saying he had made the statements to Communist Party investigators against his will, out of “opportunism and weakness” and under “mental strain.” 
The authorities’ unexpected openness about the trial, including allowing a running court microblog and social media updates by state media organizations, turned what many had expected to be banal theater into a showcase of Mr. Bo’s defiance.

... Mr. Bo insisted that he knew nothing of a villa on the French Riviera that prosecutors said Ms. Gu bought in 2000 with $3.2 million from Xu Ming, a young tycoon, or about a hot-air balloon venture between the two. He denied knowledge of a $16,000 trip to Africa made by his youngest son, Bo Guagua, and his friends; an $18,000 Segway-like vehicle that Mr. Xu bought for the son; and $50,000 of debt on the son’s credit card that Mr. Xu paid off. 
He said he did not know much about his wife and son’s expenses, because Ms. Gu was “a person of culture and taste, a modern intellectual woman,” so they did not discuss money.

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