China: Gu Kailai murder verdict date set

2012-08-17 08:20
Bo Xilai, right, and his wife Gu Kailai. (AP)

Bo Xilai, right, and his wife Gu Kailai. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Chinese Culture
    Read all you need to know about the Chinese culture in this insightful title. Now R447.00
    buy now
Beijing - A Chinese court will on Monday issue its verdict in the murder trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced former Communist party leader Bo Xilai, a local government official said on Friday.

"On Monday the court will reconvene and announce the verdict and sentence," said Zhang Mingwu, deputy director of the information office of Anhui province, where the trial was held.

Experts say a guilty verdict is in little doubt after Chinese state media reported that Gu confessed during the hearing last week to murdering a British businessman, blaming her actions on a mental breakdown.

Murder carries the death penalty in China, but experts have said Gu is likely to be spared execution and will instead serve a long prison sentence.

She is charged with poisoning Neil Heywood, a 41-year-old British man with whom she and her husband had business dealings, after a row over money.

China's official Xinhua news agency said last week that she acted after Heywood threatened the couple's son, Bo Guagua.

Deep rifts

Heywood's murder sparked China's biggest political scandal in years and brought down Gu's husband Bo, who had been tipped to become one of the ruling Communist party's top leaders in a ten-yearly power handover later this year.

Political analysts say the fall-out from the scandal has revealed deep rifts at the heart of the Communist party, and that leaders are eager to draw a line under the controversy.

Some observers expect Gu to bear harsher consequences while Bo, who has been placed under investigation for "serious discipline violations", will be dealt with more lightly or after the power transition.

"They are really focusing on getting Gu Kailai to pay," said Steve Tsang, director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham.

"My bet is that Bo will get off relatively lightly and they are going to park Bo Xilai's case until after the succession, the party Congress."

But a mitigating factor for Gu may be that she sought to protect her son. Her lawyer also asked the court to consider her "significant contributions by reporting offences by other people", court official Tang Yigan said last week.

Cover up

Gu's trial has drawn comparisons with that of Chinese leader Mao Zedong's widow Jiang Qing, who along with the three others in the "Gang of Four" was convicted for fomenting the tumultuous Cultural Revolution.

Jiang received a death sentence in 1981 but this was later commuted to life in prison, as often happens with high-profile defendants in China.

Four police officers tasked with investigating Heywood's death admitted to covering up the murder at a separate trial at the same Hefei city court on Friday, Tang said.

All four worked in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing, where Heywood died last November and where Bo served as party secretary.

The scandal erupted in February when Bo's right-hand man police chief Wang Lijun fled to a nearby US consulate and reportedly shared details about the murder.

Read more on:    bo xilai  |  gu kailai  |  china
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

Herbex – buy 3 & get 1 free!

Fat burn packs, appetite control chewies, stretch mark cream and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off Jinger Jack handbags

Spice up your wardrobe and save 30% on stylish Jinger Jack handbags. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 books & pay for 2

The cheapest of the 3 books will be free. Offer valid while stocks last. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

Deal of the week!

Hisense 40” Full HD LED Television now R3999. Offer valid while stocks last. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mercury has moved into Libra which adds a more social energy to the way you can communicate and connect things. Today is about...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.