Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day Four

Bo Xilai testifying in court on day four of his trial, 25 August Bo Xilai rebutted testimony given on Saturday by his former police chief

The court at which disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai is being tried has taken the unprecedented step of posting live updates of his trial on Sina weibo, one of China's Twitter-like microblogs.

Much of Sunday's shorter session was devoted to Mr Bo rebutting the evidence given on Saturday by his former right-hand man and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun. The issue of Wang's apparent attempt to defect by seeking refuge in the US consulate in Chengdu last year was revisited. Adjourning the case until Monday, the court said all the evidence had now been heard.

Slap or punch?

Mr Bo is defending himself against accusations that he abused his office to cover up his wife Gu Kailai's involvement in the murder of the British businessman, Neil Heywood.

She was convicted of the murder last year.

On 29 January 2012, Mr Bo and Wang had a tense meeting after the then police chief told his boss that Gu was suspected of being behind the killing.

On Saturday, Wang said he was then punched rather than slapped by Mr Bo at the meeting. But on Sunday, Mr Bo told the court: "He said I didn't just slap him, but struck him with my fist. I never practised Chinese boxing and I cannot hit that hard".

The former Communist Party chief of Chongqing reminded the court that his former close associate has been convicted of abuse of power and defection, which "did a lot of damage".

Mr Bo continued: "I think he is just a vile person. He was creating rumours right here in the court and he was trying to muddy the water for the court. To summon him as a key witness would hurt the credibility of the legal procedure."

Prosecution

Sunday's court session also heard more from the prosecution, which summarised evidence given by Gu Kailai. It recalled a meeting on 7 February 2012 when Mr Bo was told of Wang's defection attempt.

Gu was present at the meeting, according to the court transcripts, and suggested that they obtain a medical certificate to prove Wang had "mental health issues".

Mr Bo agreed and ordered officials to get a certificate testifying to serious depression, the prosecution said.

Wife's role

Mr Bo himself returned to the issue of Wang's flight to the US consulate, alleging it was planned by Gu, Wang himself and a third participant named only as Wu.

"It's a farce. It's written and directed by Wu, Gu Kailai and Wang Lijun. It has nothing to do with me," Mr Bo told the court.

Mr Bo added that he would have plenty more to say when the court resumes on Monday at 08:30 local time (01:30GMT).

Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day One

Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day Two

Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day Three

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