As Bo Xilai awaits criminal charges, family and friends have accused the Chinese government of setting obstacles in the path of any independent legal defense. From William Wan at The Washington Post:
Bo’s immediate family has been warned not to hire any lawyers, according to two people close to his wife’s family. And two lawyers retained by his mother-in-law on his behalf have been unable to visit the formerly powerful party chief, they said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal.
[…] According to others involved, the lawyers plan to go to Bo’s prison in coming days in a last-ditch effort to see him if authorities do not respond to their request for access to him.
Rejecting such face-to-face meetings has become a standard way for the Chinese government to thwart independent representation in politically sensitive cases that could embarrass the party.
Wan adds that Bo’s wife Gu Kailai, who has already received a suspended death sentence, has also been kept in a secret location and denied family visits.
See more on Bo Xilai via CDT.