Press Esc to close
Saturday 28 February 2015
News updated at 7:13 AM IST
Weather
Max: 31.7°C
Min : 16.9°C
In Bengaluru
clear sky

New openness?

August 28, 2013:

The trial of Chinese politician Bo Xilai has evoked enormous interest and attention worldwide.


A charismatic politician, who at one time seemed destined for a seat in China’s highest decision-making body, the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Bo is facing trial on charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power.

Earlier, his wife was awarded a suspended death sentence for murdering her British business partner, a case in which Bo stands accused of abusing power. The verdict is a foregone conclusion. Bo is sure to be found guilty. There is some uncertainty over the sentence, although it is widely believed that he will get a jail term of at least a decade. Why then this extraordinary interest in a trial whose outcome is more or less predictable? This, after all, is not the first time that a high-profile rising star is in the dock. Chairman Mao’s wife Jiang Qing herself was put on trial after his death.

What sets apart this trial from others is its relative openness. Even if the trial is far from fair – the CPC is likely to have made clear to the court the sentence it should hand out to Bo – it is far more open than other high-profile ones that preceded it.

More details are being provided on what is happening in the courtroom than ever before. Clearly, the CPC is keen to use the Bo trial not only to indicate that no one, not even a ‘princeling’ and former rising star of the CPC, is above the law but also to signal that the government is cracking down on corruption. In the past, trials often lasted a few hours. Bo’s trial is several days old now. The trial doesn’t seem scripted and Bo’s lawyers are in a combative mode. Bo is airing much dirty linen of CPC officials much to the discomfiture of the party. CPC officials are reportedly uneasy with details of the luxurious lifestyles of party leaders emerging from the court room into the public domain.

When Bo’s abuse of power became public last year, it dealt a blow to the CPC’s image. And in a bid to distance itself from the rot that was laid bare, the party quickly expelled Bo. However, the party is aware of the immense grassroots support that Bo continues to enjoy. It cannot easily silence him without facing a revolt. The possibility of Bo being ‘rehabilitated’ at some point in future cannot be ruled out.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A performance by the Gurkha Band of the British Army at the Queen's Birthday Party

A performance by the Gurkha Band of the British Army at the Queen's Birthday Party

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the Rajya Sabha during Budget Session

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the Rajya Sabha during Budget Session

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav performs ritual at the marriage of his daughter Raj Laxmi with Tej Prat

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav performs ritual at the marriage of his daughter Raj Laxmi with Tej Prat

Activists shout patriotic slogans as they pay tributes to the freedom-fighter Chandrashekhar Azad

Activists shout patriotic slogans as they pay tributes to the freedom-fighter Chandrashekhar Azad

Foreign delegates pose for a group photo at Parliament House

Foreign delegates pose for a group photo at Parliament House

Swine Flu vaccination program at a school in Bikaner

Swine Flu vaccination program at a school in Bikaner

Social Activist Anna Hazare addresses farmers protesting against the Land Bill in Meerut

Social Activist Anna Hazare addresses farmers protesting against the Land Bill in Meerut

Crime Branch seizes fake currency worth more than Rs 2.5 Lakhs

Crime Branch seizes fake currency worth more than Rs 2.5 Lakhs

Memebers in the Lok Sabha during the Budget session

Memebers in the Lok Sabha during the Budget session

Students march and light flares during the second day of student strike in Madrid, Spain...

Students march and light flares during the second day of student strike in Madrid, Spain...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523