The scene: a tense ‘open’ courtroom in Jinan Supreme Court, Shandong province. Three judges, dressed in black, enter.
Clerk: All rise, all rise, for the Honorable Justices Ka Gen,
Suotuo Meiya and Sika Liya; Justice Tuomasi will be saying nothing today, as usual.
Justice Suotuo Meiya: Court is in session.
Justice Sika Liya: Hey… How about agree now on a time to recess for lunch: suggest one hour?
Suotuo Meiya: It’s 8.30 now. Let’s aim for 12, OK. We’re gotta make this thing stick.
So, we’re here to hear the case of Bo Xilai vs China. Trial will last three, maybe four hours, we deliver a verdict, hit the bricks, then back home in time for supper. All in favor, say ‘Aye!’
Clerk: Bring in the defendant.
[A man is wheeled in on a gurney, straitjacketed, wearing Hannibal Lecter-style hockey mask, to the defendant’s bench. The mask is removed]
Suotuo Meiya: The charges are bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, the usual stuff. How do you plead?
Bo Xilai (for it is he): I’m guilty –
BXL: You’re out of order, this whole goddamn courtroom is out of order!
Ka Gen: My script is sure out of order…
Sika Liya: Oh, brother. Well – there goes any chance of an early lunch.
Suotuo Meiya: Get that mask back on him and let’s get on with this thing.
[There follows two hours of interminable legal spiel giving clerical legitimacy to the proceedings. As most foreign reporters turn back to Twitter and Snake, the trial can begin]
Suotuo Meiya: OK, we’ve heard the evidence from Tang Xiaolin that he gave you a RMB50,000 backhander, hidden in a sofa. What do you have to say?
BXL: I say we both know that’s a lie. Look at me: I’m Bo Xilai, for God’s sake. My sofa costs RMB50,000. I wouldn’t flout property laws for anything under RMB5 million.
Suotuo Meiya: The defendant is lying!
BXL: Mind if I do some theatrics for the crowd?
Suotuo Meiya: Be my guest…
BXL: This testimony is the perverted ramblings of a laughing jackal, who has sold his own soul to the court just to feed himself with desperate scraps from the table, like a mad hyena!
Sika Liya: Oh, man. Now you’ve got me thinking about lunch again.
Suotuo Meiya: Me too. Recess. Back in two hours.
[Two hours later, the court is now listening to Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai’s recorded testimony. The sound of barely suppressed laughter is coming from the defendant]
BXL: (Wiping tear from his eye) This is comical… Gu really went into the wrong profession.
Suotuo Meiya: Hold your tongue, sir!
BXL: Sure. Look, I was expecting bullshit, of course. But I had hoped you’d afford me the dignity of quality bullshit. None of the timelines match up: you’ve got my 13-year-old son handing over bags of cash to Tang Xiaolin when he’s back in England, studying at Harrow, and apparently racking up 30,000 kuai tabs on his credit card, apparently paid for by my wife’s billionaire friend Xu Ming…
Suotuo Meiya: And did you receive 2.1 million yuan in valuables from Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group?
BXL: Nope. I took some fancy shampoo from one of his hotel rooms once – possibly a robe or two. Drained the minibar maybe. Now you mention it, there was this villa in Nice and another in Cannes but I didn’t ask questions, really. My wife handled that stuff.
I just figured that, since she had been out of work for so long and suffering mental issues, everything must be fine. Villas, private flights, luxury hotel stays, son’s school fees – come on, guys, that’s all women’s stuff. I simply got on with the job, whoever that may have been at the time.
Suotuo Meiya: What?
BXL: I did not have sex with that woman.
Suotuo Meiya: (checking script, looking concerned; shuffling papers) OK, looks like we’re all a little tired and losing our place here. Let’s reconvene tomorrow.
Sika Liya: Finally! Alright, who’s up for some lunch?
Tomorrow: Part Two