Bo Xilai trial: Bo's wife says couple were close to Dalian businessman Xu Ming

Gu Kailai (centre), the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai gives a recorded testimony during his trial at the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, Shandong Province on August 23, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP
Gu Kailai (centre), the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai gives a recorded testimony during his trial at the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, Shandong Province on August 23, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP

The wife of former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai has described how the couple were close to Dalian tycoon Xu Ming, who allegedly bribed them in return for commercial favours.

"We probably have known him for over 20 years. Both of us, especially me, have a good impression of him.

"After long period of observing him, we find him to be a reliable and sensible person... so we trust him quite a bit," said Gu Kailai, in a video testimony released on Friday morning by a court in eastern Jinan city that is trying Bo of taking bribes of over 20 million yuan (S$4.14 million) from Xu, among other charges.

Gu looked composed and slimmer in the 11-minute video dated Aug 10, compared to her last public appearance at her trial in August last year for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in 2011.

Gu, now serving a suspended death sentence, said the Bo family often relied on Xu as a runner for tasks such as booking of air tickets.

She added that Bo is aware of her close ties with Xu and that she had told Bo before about how Xu had bought an electric bike as a gift for their son and seafood like abalone from Dalian for the family.

kianbeng@sph.com.sg