The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the political dynamics behind the complicated case of lawyer Li Zhuang, who was recently sentenced to one and a half years in prison for allegedly fabricating evidence in the Chongqing corruption crackdown:
The man who must have authorised Li’s arrest is Bo Xilai, the only Politburo member who can comfortably wear epithets such as colourful, mercurial or maverick. The Communist Party boss of the central-west city of Chongqing has captivated the nation with a brave but risky war against the city’s organised crime.
Bo got to where he is partly because he is the son of Bo Yibo, one of China’s “eight immortals” – the tag for an exalted club of revolutionaries who lived long enough to stamp their marks on China’s reform era history.
The China Youth Daily hinted at the equally impressive power behind the lawyer that Bo arrested: “As Li Zhuang arrived at Chongqing, he began to play the peacock, saying many times ‘do you know my background? Do you know who my boss is?”
What the censors won’t let local media spell out is that Li’s law firm is headed by Fu Yang, who is the son of Peng Zhen, also one of the eight immortals and more powerful than Bo Yibo. Li’s lawyer from the same Kangda law firm, Gao Zicheng, said he could not talk about the background politics: “I can’t go there …”