18 Sep 2012

Former Chinese police chief not contesting charges

11:03 pm on 18 September 2012

The ex-police chief at the heart of China's biggest political scandal in years has not contested the charges against him, court officials say.

The trial of Wang Lijun for defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking began in secret in Chengdu on Monday and ended on Tuesday, the BBC reports.

Mr Wang's flight to a US consulate in February sparked events leading to the downfall of top politician Bo Xilai.

Mr Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was later convicted of killing the British businessman Neil Heywood and given a suspended death sentence, after a trial that lasted a day.

Mr Wang is charged with helping cover up her crime.

China says the court session was public but the BBC correspondent in Chengdu reports access to the Intermediate People's Court was tightly controlled and foreign media were kept outside.

He says after the case ended a court official read out a statement saying the defendant did not contest the charges - leaving little doubt the verdict, when it comes, will be a guilty one.