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LinkAsia | Oct 5
When former Chongqing mayor and rising Communist Party star Bo Xilai was first indicted for corruption and abuse of power, his name and all associa...
In the last couple of days the island conflict has overshadowed what some called China's trial of the century. The accused, Gu Kailai, was once in the upper echelon of Chinese society. Dubbed the Jackie Kennedy of China, she's married to the former communist party boss in Chongqing and a member of the party's central committee. But her status didn't seem to help her avoid being brought to justice for her alleged role in the killing of British businessman Neil Heywood. She has been given the death sentence with a two year reprieve for homicide. Here's CCTV with more.
A life behind bars, if Bo-Gu Kailai does not commit any other offense in the next two years. The court says Bo-Gu Kailai escaped the death penalty because she had acted under the belief that her son was under threat from Neil Heywood and had provided useful information to the procuratorate during the investigation. The court also said that due to psychological impairment she had not been fully aware of her purpose and consequences of her action.
I feel the verdict is just. It reflects a special respect of the law truth in life.
I respect the court's decision.
Zhang Xiaojun, the Bo-Gu Kailai family aide, was given a sentence of nine years in prison. The verdict was announced twenty minutes after the court opened session.
Both Bo-Gu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun said in court that they will not appeal. During the judgement, the defendant Bo-Gu Kailai remained composed.
The two defendants carried out the poisoning of Neil Heywood on November 13, 2011. According to Bo-Gu Kailai's statement her son had fallen out with Haywood over business interests. She feared Heywood was threatening her son. Concerned for her son's safety she decided to kill Heywood. According to defendant's testimonies, she arranged to meet Heywood at a hotel in Chongqing where they drank tea and wine. Zhang Xiaojun was also present. They murdered Heywood in his hotel room by pouring cyanide into his mouth after he had become drunk, vomited and requested a drink of water. In a separate trial four Chinese policemen were also convicted for covering up the facts. They've received jail sentences of between five and eleven years. Jie Bai, CCTV.
Interestingly enough, Gu's husband, Bo Xilai, was never mentioned during the trial. No word of him has been heard since last March, when he was accused of breaking party discipline, corruption, and abuse of power. He's currently awaiting a decision by China's top leadership regarding his fate.