The former Chinese police Chief Wang Lijun, who was at the heart of China’s biggest political scandal in recent times, has been sentenced to 15 years on charges ranging from abuse of power to defection to a US embassy. The high profile trial at the Chengdu Municipal People's Court saw the charges read out.
"The defendant Wang Lijun will receive seven years in prison for the charge of bending the law for selfish ends, two years in prison and deprivation of his political rights for one year for the charge of defection, two years in prison for the power abuse charge and nine years in prison for the charge of bribe-taking. He received a combined punishment of 15 years in prison and deprivation of his political rights for one year."
The judge then asked Lijun whether he would appeal the sentence to which he replied no.
The case of Wang Lijun has gripped the world: as it exposed top politician Bo Xilai, whose wife Gu Kilai killed the British Businessman Neil Heywood over a business deal. Lijun was then part of the police cover up into Heywood’s death and fearing for his safety he entered the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu without authorization and stayed there for two days. But as the supposed defection created negative impacts at home and abroad, he had a change of heart and left the embassy turning himself over to the Chinese authorities to stand trial. The severity of the charges would have easily commuted into a death sentence, but the court acknowledged that Lijun had redeemed himself bringing Neil Heywood's death to light and the Xilai's association with the murder.
Written and presented by Ann Salter.