No Verdict in Gu Kailai Murder Trial
August 09, 2012
by VOA News
China's most politically explosive trial in recent memory ended in a matter of hours Thursday when Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, did not object to the murder charges against her.
A court official said a verdict has not been delivered in the high-profile case, which was held at a tightly guarded courthouse in the eastern city of Hefei. The official did not say when a verdict was expected, but that prosecutors believe she is the "main culprit" in the crime.
Gu and her butler were accused of poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood in November in the southwestern city Chongqing, where Bo was Communist Party leader. Officials said Gu may have had a financial dispute with Heywood and thought that he posed a threat to her son's safety.
Bo Xilai's wife, Gu Kailai, is at the center of one of the most sensational scandals to rock China's Communist Party.
- Charged with the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood
- Worked as a successful lawyer before retiring as her husband's career took off
- Wrote a book about her experience helping Chinese companies win a U.S. legal battle
- Daughter of a prominent Communist leader
If convicted, Gu faces a possible death penalty. The official Xinhua news agency says four police officials who attempted to "cover up" the murder of Heywood will also go on trial this week.
The case is China's most politically sensitive in recent memory and has already brought down Gu's husband, Bo Xilai, who was once considered a rising star in Chinese politics.
The son of a famous revolutionary leader, the charismatic Bo had been a top contender for the Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body, before he was stripped of his political posts earlier this year. Although Bo is being investigated for corruption, his fate is still unknown and he has not been heard from in months.
The scandal comes at a sensitive time for China's Communist Party, which is set to undergo a rare leadership transition later this year.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|