In another development, the Hefei Municipal Intermediate's People's Court on Monday announced the verdict in the case of bending the law for personal gain involving Guo Weiguo, former deputy chief of Chongqing's Public Security Bureau, Li Yang, former chief of the bureau's criminal section, Wang Pengfei, former chief of the bureau's technical detection team and also former chief of the Public Security Sub-bureau of Chongqing's Yubei District, and Wang Zhi, former executive deputy chief of the Public Security Sub-bureau of the municipality's Shapingba District.
The court said in the verdict that clearly knowing there was great suspicion that Bogu Kailai had committed the crime, the four defendants, Guo Weiguo, Li Yang, Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi, tried to help Bogu Kailai avoid prosecution by fabricating, hiding and destroying evidence, as well as convincing the family members of Neil Heywood to decide not to have an autopsy performed. All of their conduct constituted the crime of bending the law for personal gain.
The crimes committed by the four individuals caused Bogu Kailai's homicidal behavior to be covered up and Bogu Kailai not to be investigated for criminal liability, creating an extremely baneful influence upon society. Therefore, the circumstances of their crimes are especially serious.
The verdict said the crime was a joint offense, with Guo Weiguo acting as the principal, and Li Yang, Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi as accessories, while Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi's roles were less important than that of Li Yang.
The four individuals all truthfully confessed the major criminal facts after being apprehended and brought to justice. Guo Weiguo and Li Yang pleaded guilty and showed remorse in court, and Li Yang did not carry out Guo Weiguo's request to destroy key material evidence. In objective terms, this made an important contribution to investigating and solving the case of Neil Heywood's death. Nor did Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi carry out Guo Weiguo's request to destroy key material evidence, playing a certain role in the investigation and solution of the case.
According to the facts, the nature and the circumstances of the four individuals' crimes, the court, based on the law, sentenced Guo Weiguo and Li Yang to prison terms of 11 years and seven years, respectively, while both Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi were sentenced to prison terms of five years for their crime of bending the law for personal gain.
The four individuals said in court they will not appeal the sentences.
Yin Chunli, an associate law professor at Anhui University who attended today's court session, said the verdict documents read by the court amply revealed the criminal actions, evidence, as well as legal basis for the rulings.
She said the court ruling was based on law, and the criminals received just punishment for their crimes.
"Legal justice is being upheld," said Wang Xiuqin, a member of the provincial political advisory body of Anhui, who attended the trial and the delivery of the verdict and sentence.
"Everyone is equal before the law. The judicial authorities have made known their stance of safeguarding the dignity of the law," she said.
"These two cases have taught us to revere the law as well as to observe discipline and obey the law," said Yan Lulu, a Hefei resident.