With the former flood of news about fallen Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai slowing to a trickle, rumors have rushed in to fill the gap, even in China’s own state media. According to some of the more recent mutterings, Bo’s trial has been held back by his uncooperative behavior. Reuters reported on Thursday that anonymous sources have confirmed Bo’s lack of cooperation, which has taken forms including two hunger strikes and the growth of a chest-length protest beard. Meanwhile, the delay is undermining official efforts to portray the case as a model of impartial and effective justice. From Benjamin Kang Lim and Ben Blanchard:
“He was on hunger strike twice and force fed,” one source told Reuters, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case. It was unclear how long the hunger strike lasted.
“He was not tortured, but fell ill and was taken to a hospital in Beijing for treatment,” the source said, declining to provide details of Bo’s condition and whereabouts which have been kept under wraps since his downfall.
[…] The recent lack of information about the case – Bo has not been seen in public since last March – harms the government’s credibility in the eyes of the people, said Bao Tong, the most senior official jailed over the 1989 Tiananmen protests.
“It’s not normal, too much time has past,” Bao told Reuters, referring to the lack of information from the government about the case.
“This is not good for the party’s image. They have not thought about this clearly. If they are able to properly deal with a big shot like Bo Xilai then they will increase people’s trust in the party,” he added.