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Senior Chinese official on trial for corruption



(Vatican Radio) : In China, a former senior Communist Party official has spent a third day in court. He again denied the charges of bribery and abuse of power, but admitted limited wrongdoing.

Bo Xilai said he had no intention of embezzling what prosecutors estimate to be several millions of dollars.

But he said he did "shame" his country in failing to prevent others from taking cash, namely his wife, and in trying to hush up a murder investigation involving her. Gu Kailai has now been convicted in that case.

In this trial, she has given video testimony against her husband. He replied by calling into question her reliability.

Some analysts see the trial as evidence of a struggle between ruling factions in China. Others see it as a sign that the government may tolerate new openness when it comes to wrongdoing by public officials.

But at the very least, they say, it's shedding light on how some senior officials have abused office and got away with it because exposure was thought to be too damaging to the state.

Meanwhile, many expect this trial to end in a guilty verdict. A U.S. State Department report says the conviction rate for criminal trials in China was almost 100 per cent when measured three years ago.

Listen to Alastair Wanklyn’s report: RealAudioMP3




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