4 September, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/09/2012
CHINA
“Trial of the century" begins (and ends) against Gu Kailai
by Bernardo Cervellera
The trial is reminiscent of the one against Mao's wife, head of the Gang of Four. Media denied court access. Accused only permitted court appointed defense lawyers, who have not yet met with their clients. The many oddities indicate that the sentence has already been written and it's all in favor of the Communist Party. The trial will be brief because the leadership want to forget this story and prepare for the Congress this autumn.

Rome (AsiaNews) - The trial of Kailai Gu, the wife of Bo Xilai, former chief of Chongqing and Politburo member, began this morning in the rain in Hefei, the capital of Anhui, and concluded without any verdict being given. It has been called the "trial of the century" given the rarity of seeing the wife of one who was among the most powerful politicians in China, brought before the courts. It can only be compared to the trial against  the third wife of Mao, Jiang Qing, in the case of the Gang of Four, that put an end to Marxism-Leninism in the country.

Gu Kailai, along with her butler Zhang Xiaojun are accused of having poisoned the British businessman Neil Heywood, once considered a "family friend". The murder took place last November, while Bo Xilai still held the reins in Chongqing and was planning to join the Politburo Standing Committee.

The official version that Heywood died from having imbibed too much alcohol, turned into suspicion of murder after Wang Lijun, chief of police and Bo's right-hand man, sought asylum last February at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. Since then, it has all come crashing down: in March, Bo was discharged from the post of Party secretary of Chongqing and placed under investigation for generic "disciplinary irregularities",  in April, his wife was accused of murder.

The trial, that date of which was set a few weeks ago, has some oddities, indicative of the way in which justice is practiced in China:

 

  • 1) It is being held in Anhui and not Chongqing, perhaps to avoid the influence of the still powerful Bo in the judgment. On the other hand, Anhui is famous for being among the most obedient provinces to the Party. In addition, the president of the Supreme Court of Beijing, Wang Shengjun, has a great influence in this province. This means that the trial has been well set up and respect the will of the leadership in Beijing.
  • 2) The court Anhui assigned Gu Kailai, formerly a well known attorney, court appointed lawyers, rejecting those chosen by the accused. The two in charge, Jiang Min, president of the Anhui lawyers association and Zhou Yuhao, a member of the Wuhu association have not had much time to prepare the defense and or been able to meet the two accused.
  • 3) The press will not be present at the trial, although more than 100 national and foreign newspapers have come to Hefei. On the other hand, two British diplomats were invited to attend the sessions.
  • 4) Although everyone knows that Heywood helped the family of Bo Xilai in opaque financial and foreign transactions, and that it was Heywood's threat to reveal to the world the extent of this wealth that led to his death, the indictment cites only Gu Kailai of willful murder and economic crimes;
  • 5) The charge (reported by Xinhua) also cites an motive: Gu Kailai committed the murder because she feared for the life of her son Bo Guagua.

 

Analysts believe these factors indicate that the trial will not reveal any sudden twists. Especially since the body was immediately cremated and Heywood is the only "remains" left is a piece of his heart that Wang Lijun removed prior to the cremation.

The judgment seems to have been already written: Gu Kailai will be found guilty, but the motive for the murder will help her escape the death penalty, the murder will be seen as separate to the economic crimes so as not to involve Bo Xilai (and with him the whole Party ) in crimes of corruption.

Another important fact is that the trial promises to be fast. Originally ot was thought that it would last tow to three days.  Instead it was immediatly concluded, even if the verdict is expected in the coming days. In any case the Party is in a hurry to turn the page on and hide this ugly chapter to prepare for the Congress in the autumn, where they will elect new members of the Central Committee Politburo, from which Bo is now excluded.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
08/10/2012 CHINA
Chongqing saga: police and Wang Lijun on trial. Silence on Bo Xilai
by Wang Zhicheng
08/11/2012 CHINA
Chongqing Saga: Bo Xilai’s wife accepts murder charges
09/20/2012 CHINA
Bo Xilai casts shadow on Wang Lijun's trial
by Wang Zhicheng
08/20/2012 CHINA
Death penalty for Gu Kailai. Still silence on Bo Xilai
08/17/2012 CHINA
Quick verdict for Gu Kailai on August 20, as Communist Party prepares for Congress
by Wang Zhicheng

Editor's choices
ASIA – EUROPEAN UNION
Aylan’s death and that of the Middle East
by Bernardo CervelleraThe death of a child from a sinking boat off the Turkish coast has moved the whole world, but lest we forget, thousands more have already died in Syria’s war. The refugee problem must be addressed but so do the causes that have led to this tragedy, namely Mideast wars, funding the Islamic State group, and proxies acting on behalf of regional and world powers.
VATICAN - IRAQ
Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.