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  • » 07/26/2012, 00.00

    CHINA

    Bo Xilai's wife charged with murder



    Indictment confirmed by the People's Court of Hefei. Kailai Gu and the butler Zhang Xiaojun, charged with poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood in his hotel room.

    Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The People's Court of Hefei has charged Kailai Gu, the wife of Bo Xilai, the former head of the Communist Party in Chongqing, for the murder of Neil Heywood, a British citizen and family advisor. The court also accused the butler Zhang Xiaojun, of aiding and abetting in Heywood's murder. According to China's main news agency Xinhua, there is substantial evidence against the two. Kailai Gu and Xiaojun are believed to have poisoned the man to prevent revelations about murky family affairs abroad, and threats against her son Bo Guagua.

    The announcement comes a week after the decision French architect Devillers Patrick, close to the Bo family, to participate in the trial against the former communist leader.

    Suspicions surrounding the murder of Neil Heywood emerged in February. In March, the case of Bo Xilai broke, seriously undermining the Chinese Communist Party. His fall is one of the most spectacular political dramas in China since Tiananmen. Upon until his removal, on March 15, he was seen as a successful man, destined to join the Politburo Standing Committee. His populist campaign to revive Maoism distributing wealth to the poor was shared by several fringes of the party, including several "princes" such as Xi Jinping, the successor of President Hu Jintao. In his attempt to "clean Chongqing" of mafia triads, he used illegal methods and also arrested hundreds of party members.

    The façade of Maoist populism did not stop Bo and his family however from amassing enormous wealth at home and abroad. According to rumors, Heywoods' threat to reveal the proportions  of this wealth, sealed his fate, hitherto regarded as "an old family friend."

     

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    See also

    24/09/2012 CHINA
    Wang Lijun sentenced to 15 years. Now it may be Bo Xilai’s turn
    Wang thanked the court and will not appeal. Great caution before the 18th Party Congress. It is assumed that Bo Xilai, former chief of Chongqing, will be expelled and prosecuted after the important meeting.

    06/09/2012 CHINA
    Charges laid against Wang Lijun. Again, no mention of Bo Xilai
    The once powerful former police chief of Chongqing is accused of defection, abuse of power, corruption and hiding evidence. Although he was a close collaborator of Bo Xilai, the latter’s name is not mentioned in connection to the charges. Thanks to Wang murder intrigue of British businessman Heywood discovered. But the party accuses him of "betrayal", perhaps because he revealed the rot at centre of leadership.

    18/09/2012 CHINA
    First in secret and then in public, Wang Lijun trial begins
    Yesterday there was a secret session. Today the public session opens, but journalists are barred. Wang is accused of corruption and use of the law for selfish ends, but above all defection of seeking refuge in the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. His escape led to the fall of Bo Xilai, the death sentence of his wife Gu Kailai, and the revelation of corruption in the party.

    10/02/2012 CHINA
    Bo Xilai’s deputy visits US consulate, jeopardising his admission to the politburo
    The powerful Chongqing Communist Party leader wants to become a member of the country’s most powerful institution. After a suspicious meeting with US diplomats, his right-hand man is arrested, threatening his rise to power.

    20/09/2012 CHINA
    Bo Xilai casts shadow on Wang Lijun's trial
    An account of the trial in Xinhua reveals that Wang Lijun told ex Chongqing party chief of suspicions about his wife, who killed businessman Neil Heywood, and is slapped for this. Bo could go on trial shortly. Party congress date not yet announced.



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