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bribery and corruption

Bo Xilai has admitted “some responsibility” for the government funds he is accused of embezzling.

The disgraced Chinese politician told a Jinan court that his wife Gu Kailai had taken the money, and he knew nothing about it at the time.

However, Bo Xilai admitted he did not do enough to stop it.

“I feel ashamed. I was too careless,” he said.

Bo Xilai also mocked a former colleague who had accused him of being actively involved in the embezzlement.

He said Wang Zhenggang’s testimony was “illogical”, and that only a fool would discuss bribery in front of witnesses.

The scandals involving Bo Xilai’s family, which used to be one of the most elite in China, have captivated the country.

Bo Xilai, who rose to become the Communist Party chief in Chongqing, denies bribery and corruption – and also the charge of abuse of office, which the court has not yet examined.

He is accused of using his position to cover up for his wife Gu Kailai, who has been convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.

Bo Xilai’s ex-police chief Wang Lijun, his close colleague in Chongqing, is also testifying against him.

Many analysts assume the outcome of the trial, now in its third day, has been predetermined – with a guilty verdict.

But Bo Xilai has given what, for China, is an unusually vigorous defense, observers say.

They say the court hearing is as much about getting rid of a popular politician as it is about criminal wrongdoing.

Bo Xilai has admitted "some responsibility" for the government funds he is accused of embezzling

Bo Xilai has admitted “some responsibility” for the government funds he is accused of embezzling

Foreign media are not allowed into the trial, but the court in the eastern city of Jinan has been posting regular updates on China’s micro-blogging site Weibo (in Mandarin).

“I feel I should take some responsibility for the money ending up in Gu Kailai’s account. I feel ashamed,” Bo Xilai told the court.

“I failed to retrieve the money later, and that’s a factual statement, but can you say I had the intention to embezzle the money? No.”

Bo Xilai was referring to a 5 million yuan ($800,000) sum of money in his wife’s account, which had alleged been earmarked for a Dalian city construction project.

Earlier in Saturday’s proceedings, Wang Zhenggang, former urban planning director of Dalian, gave testimony against Bo Xilai, who used to be Dalian’s mayor and therefore Wang Lijun’s boss.

Wang said he saw Bo Xilai make a call to his wife and explicitly said he was going to funnel money to the family.

Bo Xilai refuted the testimony, saying he had no need for the money as his wife was a successful lawyer and his son’s study in the UK was funded through a full scholarship.

He also mocked Wang Lijun’s testimony, saying: “Is this in line with the way an embezzler would think?… Would I say something this sensitive on the phone?”

“It is not even what the most stupid corruption offender would do,” he said.

On Friday, Bo Xilai described his wife, Gu Kailai, as “insane” because of her testimony implicating him in corruption.

She had said that wealthy Chinese entrepreneur Xu Ming bought gifts for the family in order to gain favors.

Gu Kailai also said she felt that Neil Heywood – whom she has been found guilty of killing – had posed a threat to her son, Bo Guagua.

But Bo Xilai dismissed her testimony, reportedly saying: “In her unstable mental state, prosecutors put pressure on her so she would turn on me.”

Bo Xilai’s downfall was seen as the biggest political shake-up to hit China’s ruling elite in decades.

In February 2012 his police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to the US consulate in Chengdu amid an apparent fall-out with Bo Xilai.

Shortly afterwards, Chinese authorities announced that they were reinvestigating the death of Neil Heywood, who died in a Chongqing hotel in November 2011.

The release of trial proceedings during Bo Xilai’s hearing are in sharp contrast with Gu Kailai’s trial in August 2012. That hearing took just one day and few details were released.

The Chinese authorities are on high alert for any unrest that might be triggered by Bo Xilai’s trial – with police closely guarding a security perimeter that spans several miles around the court.

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Chinese authorities have announced that some senior executives of the local division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are facing a criminal investigation.

They are being investigated for bribery and tax-related violations, said the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

They are suspected of offering bribes to officials and doctors in an attempt to boost sales in the country.

GSK said in response to the allegations that it had found no evidence of bribery or corruption in China.

“We are willing to co-operate with the authorities in this inquiry,” the company said in a statement, adding that it had only just received official word of the “specific nature” of the investigation.

“We take all allegations of bribery and corruption seriously,” the statement said.

GSK senior executives are being investigated in China for bribery and tax-related violations

GSK senior executives are being investigated in China for bribery and tax-related violations

“We continuously monitor our businesses to ensure they meet our strict compliance procedures – we have done this in China and found no evidence of bribery or corruption of doctors or government officials. However, if evidence of such activity is provided, we will act swiftly on it.”

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security said in a statement that police had questioned some of the suspects.

It accused the firm of bribing government officials and doctors, as well as overstating tax receipts.

“The case involves many people, the duration of time is long, the amount of money involved is huge and the criminal activities are malicious,” the ministry said.

Senior executives at GSK are already being investigated by Changsha public security officials for “economic crimes”, the city’s police force said last month. However, it is not clear if the Changsha investigation is related to any of the latest allegations.


Rolls-Royce has announced that it is in talks with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over possible bribery and corruption.

“It is too early to predict the outcomes, but these could include the prosecution of individuals and of the company,” Rolls-Royce said.

The British aircraft engine manufacturer said it had passed on information about alleged malpractice by intermediaries.

It followed a request from the SFO for information about alleged malpractice in Indonesia and China.

Rolls-Royce said it was cooperating fully with the investigation.

“I want to make it crystal clear that neither I nor the board will tolerate improper business conduct of any sort and will take all necessary action to ensure compliance,” said chief executive John Rishton.

“This is a company with exceptional prospects, and I will not accept any behavior that undermines its future success.”

Rolls-Royce has announced that it is in talks with the Serious Fraud Office over possible bribery and corruption

Rolls-Royce has announced that it is in talks with the Serious Fraud Office over possible bribery and corruption

The company said that it had recently instituted a new ethics code of conduct, and would be hiring an independent consultant to carry out a review of its current procedures.

Rolls-Royce is a major international player in civil aerospace and defence, and employs over 40,000 people in 50 countries.

It is the world’s second largest manufacturer of aircraft engines after General Electric.

China and Indonesia were ranked 80 and 118 respectively out of 174 countries in the corruption perceptions index published by Transparency International on Wednesday, ranking from the least down to the most corrupt.

Shares in the company fell 5% at the start of trading in London on Thursday.