07/26/2012, 00.00
CHINA
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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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