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Wrongful jailing plaint in Bo scandal



BEIJING: An ex-lawyer who said he was wrongfully persecuted as part of a massive crime crackdown by China’s purged politician Bo Xilai this week filed a complaint with China’s highest prosecuting office. The former defence lawyer, Li Zhuang, is demanding a thorough investigation of his case, which has raised questions about how Bo ruled Chongqing — a metropolis in China’s southwest — as its party chief until his downfall in March.

China’s top government prosecuting office said on its website yesterday that it had received Li’s petition.

Li was detained in 2009 after his client Gong Gangmo, a Chongqing businessman swept into Bo’s anti-mafia campaign because he was suspected of gang crimes, alleged that the defence lawyer had instigated him to lie about being tortured for confession. Li, who spent 18 months in jail, has said Gong framed him under duress of Chongqing police. Li has been appealing his case since June 2011, when he was released from jail.

The prosecution of Li caused uproar, especially among China’s intellectuals who started to suspect that Bo’s anti-mafia efforts had gone too far. Bo, a charismatic politician in quest of power, was ousted from the Chongqing post in March, weeks after his top aide Wang Lijun fled to a US consulate and said Bo’s wife had killed a British trader.

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