Chinese govt implicates Bo in scandal account

Says former police chief sought US asylum

Written by Associated Press | Beijing | Published:September 20, 2012 12:57 am

The EX-police chief at the centre of China’s seamy political scandal asked US diplomats for asylum after he covered up a murder for the wife of the Communist Party boss but then grew estranged and feared for his life,the Chinese government said Wednesday.

The account,released by Xinhua News Agency,is China’s fullest explanation of the scandal that was triggered when Wang Lijun fled to a US consulate and that has buffeted the Chinese leadership in the seven months since.

Among the revelations in the account,the government said for the first time that Wang applied for asylum in writing — which US diplomats and officials have denied. It also is the first time the government verges on implicating Bo Xilai,a member of the senior leadership who was removed in disgrace in the fallout.

In the account,Wang,the police chief of Chongqing,told the city’s “top official in charge” on January 28 that Bo’s wife,Gu Kailai,was a suspect in the murder of a British businessman. The next morning,Wang was rebuked in anger and the official boxed his ears,the account said,and days later fearing for his life he fled to the consulate in nearby Chengdu.

Though Bo is never named in the account,he was Chongqing’s top leader. Chinese news websites outside China,citing unnamed sources,previously reported a confrontation in which Wang slapped Bo.

The account is the latest sign that Chinese leaders are nearing a resolution on what to do about Bo – whether only to expel him from the party or prosecute him on criminal charges. Deciding his fate has consumed the leadership’s attention at a time they are preparing to transfer power to a younger generation — a tricky process that involves back-room politicking.

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