Trial details of Bogu Kailai case released

Print E-mail Xinhua, August 11, 2012
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Before and after trial

Investigatory, procuratorial and judicial authorities have taken the facts as the basis and the law as the criterion, and handled the case strictly in accordance with the law in the process of the investigation, approval of the arrest, prosecution and the court hearing.

During the investigation, the public security department formulated a meticulous investigation plan, conducted 394 interrogations of the witnesses and people involved in the case and put together 212 evidence documents totaling 1,468 pages in 16 volumes. Investigators visited Chongqing, Beijing and other places many times in the course of the investigation, questioning people involved in the case and people who know about the case.

Investigators studied the full process of collecting, examining, storing and transferring important material evidence such as the blood extracted from Neil Heywood's heart, the poison and the vomit samples. A substantial amount of evidence had been further obtained and confirmed after three months' of scrupulous investigation efforts.

During the procuratorial process, to ensure the facts of the case are clear, the evidence sufficient and the procedure lawful, judicial staff thoroughly and meticulously examined the evidence collected and put together by investigators. They also provided more than 200 items of suggestion for further investigation.

Judicial staff sent the defendants a letter to inform them of their rights and responsibilities. The defendants were informed that they were entitled to entrust defense counsels to represent them. The victim's close relatives were informed that they were entitled to obtain legal representatives. The defendants were legally interrogated, and the opinions of the defense counsels were heard.

After the defendants were indicted, the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court formed a collegial panel, sent duplicates of the indictment to the defendants, informed the defendants and the victim's family of their litigation rights and gave lawyers access to the case file.

After Bogu Kailai was held by investigators, she once refused to engage a lawyer. In a bid to protect the legitimate rights of a criminal suspect, judicial staff informed her of her right to a lawyer several times.

Bogu Kailai eventually decided on her own to entrust two lawyers to represent her, and Zhang Xiaojun decided to entrust one lawyer to represent him.

After the trial, Jiang Min, a lawyer with Anhui Tianhe Law Firm who serves as one of Bogu Kailai's defense counsels, said that since he got involved in the case, judicial authorities have protected the lawyer's rights to meet with the defendant and to have access to the case file. Jiang said more than 10 meetings with the defendant had been arranged, and he fully expressed the opinions of the defense in court as he had planned to do beforehand.

Xu Shuping, a professor from the Law Department of Anhui University who attended the hearing, said although the hearing lasted for almost seven hours, the court strictly followed the law and completely protected the rights of the defendants and their defense counsels in making statements, presenting evidence, questioning evidence and issuing a defense.

Xu said the court abided by the principles of taking facts as the basis and the law as the criterion -- the spirit of handling the case strictly in accordance with the law.

Meanwhile, the law professor said this case has shown that in a modern, rule-of-law society, the law provides a platform for all citizens to safeguard their legal rights and interests in a fair way. When people want to solve their problems, they have to do it in a proper and lawful way, she said, adding, "We must respect and be in awe of the law."

Zheng Xiaoyan, a deputy to the National People's Congress who attended the court hearing, said the public intentional homicide trial of Bogu Kailai and Zhang indicates that China is a socialist country governed by law. The dignity and authority of the law brook no violation.

Anyone who breaks the law will be dealt with according to the law, with no exceptions.

Zheng said everyone is equal before the law, so nobody is entitled to any privilege. The binding force of the law does not have exceptions. Any one who breaks the law must be severely punished.

"This case has drawn great attention from the public," said Jiang Tao, a local resident from the Yaohai District of Hefei. "I attended the full hearing and felt the solemnness of the court and inviolability of the law."

"The public trial shows that everyone is equal before the law. I hope that the court will make a fair judgement in accordance with the law," Jiang Tao said.

In addition, the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court on Friday held a trial on the case involving Guo Weiguo, Li Yang, Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi, who stand accused of bending the law to achieve personal benefit. The verdict will be announced on a day that has yet to be announced.

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