Lawyer Li Zhuang, who was jailed in Bo Xilai’s crackdown against the Chongqing mob.
When Li Zhuang, a 50-year-old lawyer from Beijing, was accused of fabricating testimony in favour of his client as part of Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun‘s crackdown against the Chongqing mob, there was outcry from both the national and international legal community.
Many saw Li’s arrest and subsequent trial as a crude way to remove an effective opponent of Bo’s sprawling campaign against organised crime which had increasingly begun to ignore due process, allegedly making use of torture, forced confessions and intimidation.
Li was arrested in December 2009 and later convicted of instructing his client, mob boss Gong Gangmo, to lie about being tortured in custody, Gong himself was the lead witness against Li. Now Gong has recanted his testimony after Li submitted a petition for review of his case. Gong reportedly told the Supreme People’s Procuratorate that Chongqing police forced him to sign a statement in order to frame Li.
Two relatives of Gong’s, both of whom met with Beijing authorities this week, have also claimed that their testimonies against Li were made under duress.
Bo’s highly publicised anti-triad campaign is seen by many as his key achievement during his time at Chongqing. However, following Bo’s own dramatic fall from grace earlier this year, and continuing revelations about the extent of corruption in Chongqing, more and more people are beginning to question Bo’s legacy in the city.