JINAN, China -- Prosecutors in the trial of Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party star, presented testimony on Friday asserting that he knew about a villa on the French Riviera bought for his family by a tycoon and about demands for compensation from a British businessman managing the villa who was later murdered by Mr. Bo's wife.
The testimony was aimed at proving that Mr. Bo knew about favors his family was accepting from the tycoon, Xu Ming. But Mr. Bo denied knowledge of such crimes on the second day of his trial, which has been unveiled for the public via an unexpected feed of titillating official microblog posts from the court here in northern China. The use of the microblog suggests pressure on the party to make transparent the case against Mr. Bo, a polarizing neo-leftist politician from a powerful Communist revolutionary family, but at the risk of exposing weakness in the prosecution and bolstering public support for Mr. Bo.
The party authorities took measures to temper some of the spectacle on Friday. A person briefed on the proceedings said late Friday that under orders from the authorities, the day's transcripts were considerably less comprehensive than those released Thursday. The newer ones were vetted longer before being posted, and offered fewer rebuttals from Mr. Bo and his lawyers.
And the party intensified its case against Mr. Bo in the state media, not just in court. On Friday, official news outlets issued a chorus of commentaries that said the evidence against Mr. Bo, once the party leader in the sprawling southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, was overwhelming. The commentaries lauded the trial as fair and open while effectively prejudging Mr. Bo.
"Confronted with the facts, Bo's attitude was to flaunt his cunning and use a hundred kinds of denial," said a commentary on the Web site of The Guangming Daily, a party newspaper. "The documents are there in black and white and the evidence is overwhelming. Bo Xilai's self-defense collapsed instantly before the evidence, so that his sophistry was futile and laughable."
The trial is likely to end on Saturday, and a verdict is expected within a couple of weeks.
On Friday, Mr. Bo again upbraided the prosecution's main witnesses, including his wife, Gu Kailai, who appeared in a video recording being interrogated about the family's finances.
"How much of it is believable?" Mr. Bo said of Ms. Gu's testimony. "She has become crazy, and she often tells lies. She was mentally unstable and under enormous pressure from the investigators to inform on me."
Witnesses for the prosecution painted a vivid portrait of family life within the Bo clan, which appeared to be awash in favors from Mr. Xu. According to testimony, Mr. Bo's younger son, Bo Guagua, went to Africa in 2011 at Mr. Xu's expense, and brought back for his father a slab of meat from a rare animal that he insisted should be eaten raw. The father had it cooked, though, to the young Mr. Bo's disappointment, and the family feasted on it for a month. Mr. Xu also paid for a trip in 2011 to China by Mr. Bo, then a graduate student at Harvard, and 40 of his fellow students. As for the villa, Mr. Bo helped his wife plan the aesthetics -- "he's an expert in home renovation and decoration," Ms. Gu testified.
In August 2012, Ms. Gu was convicted of the murder of the British businessman, Neil Heywood, and given a suspended death sentence, essentially a life term in prison. The death of Mr. Heywood and the ensuing scandal led to the downfall of Mr. Bo. He is charged with taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power. The embezzlement charge accuses him of taking $800,000 in government money earmarked for a construction project, and the abuse of power charge accuses him of trying to obstruct an investigation into Mr. Heywood's murder.
Testimony on Friday centered on the villa, which French documents show was owned by Patrick Devillers, a French friend of the Bo family. According to testimony from Mr. Devillers and others read aloud in court, Mr. Devillers was a frontman in the purchase; Ms. Gu bought the villa more than a decade ago as an investment for her son with $3.2 million from Mr. Xu, the tycoon.
Prosecutors said Ms. Gu used different people in the French company that managed the property as fronts to hide her ownership. Mr. Heywood, an old associate, was brought in to hold Ms. Gu's shares in the villa in 2007, and then removed in 2011. Prosecutors said he then demanded $2.2 million from Ms. Gu and threatened her son, Bo Guagua; she poisoned Mr. Heywood in November 2011 because of the threats.
In a sign of inconsistencies among official accounts, the story spun by prosecutors on Friday was somewhat different from the one that officials presented at Ms. Gu's trial. At that time, officials said Mr. Heywood had demanded a much larger sum, $22 million, mostly as compensation for a failed property project in Chongqing. He threatened the son in efforts to get that money, those prosecutors said, and that made Ms. Gu fearful.
Bo Guagua, who has just started classes at Columbia Law School in New York, did not respond to an e-mail request for comment on Friday. Family members of Mr. Heywood could not be reached for comment.
Officials from the court, the police and state security met late Thursday in Jinan to review the handling of the trial, according to a person briefed on the case. They determined that it was under control despite the uproar caused by Mr. Bo's spirited defense on Thursday. "The authorities did not seem to think that was so unexpected," the person said.
There was no doubt, though, that the unveiling of testimony on Friday was more tightly managed. Though more than an hour of video testimony from Ms. Gu was played in court, officials posted only an 11-minute clip online, he said. Ms. Gu spoke to an interrogator about expensive items that Mr. Xu had bought for the Bo family, including abalone, airplane tickets and a Segway-like vehicle that the son wanted.
Mr. Bo denied any knowledge of payments by Mr. Xu, which some legal scholars said was smart strategy. "Bo's defense today is that he was unaware of the bribes Gu took, which stands legally," said Jiang Tianyong, a liberal lawyer and rights defender. "If he was unaware and took no part in the bribe-taking, he has no responsibility, even if he is married to Gu."
Chris Buckley contributed reporting from Hong Kong. Patrick Zuo contributed research from Jinan, and Mia Li from Beijing.
Correction: August 23, 2013, Friday
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the year that Neil Heywood was removed as a frontman shareholder for the French villa owned by Gu Kailai. It was 2011, not 2012.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.