» 08/11/2012, 00.00
Chongqing Saga: Bo Xilai’s wife accepts murder charges
The news was broadcast by Chinese state media. Only press allowed access to Gu Kailai’s trial last August 9. The woman justified the murder of Neil Heywood with a mental breakdown due to the threats to her son. Suspicions about a deal between Bo and the leaders in Beijing to prevent further scandals. Experts maintain Chongqing leader’s wife is following a script drawn up by Chinese Communist Party.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Gu Kailai, wife of former Communist Party
leader of Chongqing, Bo Xilai, has admitted the murder of British entrepreneur
Neil Heywood, found dead in a hotel in November 2011. The
news was reported by Chinese state media, the only ones allowed inside the courtroom.
At her trial, which began on August 9, the woman justified the act with a
"nervous breakdown" due to threats she claimed the British
businessman made against her son. During
the hearing Gu Kailai said that she would accept any verdict of the court. In
the session details emerged about the involvement of Wang Lijun, chief of
police in Chongqing.
had helped Gu plan Heywood's murder. His four deputies, also on trial, are
charged with helping him cover up the case.
November - Gu allegedly confessed - I had a mental breakdown after discovering
that my son Bo Guagu was in danger." According
to a reconstruction he young man had had a dispute with Heywood over money
am the cause of this tragedy - said the woman - which unfortunately which not
only involved Neil, but other families. The case has had serious consequences
for the Communist Party throughout the country. For my part I will accept and
calmly face any sentence and... court decision. " During
the hearing, Gu's lawyers did not contest the version that accuses Bo Xilai's
wife of having poisoned Heywood with cyanide. The
version recounted in court states that last November Gu Kailai visited Heywood at the Nanshan Lijing
Holiday Hotel and drank alcohol and tea with him. After getting drunk and
vomiting, Heywood asked for a glass of water. Gu brought it to him, but it was
a poison supplied by her butler, Zhang Xiaojun. Yesterday,
court officer Tang Yigan of 'Hefei eastern China, told
reporters that the court's verdict will be announced in the coming weeks.
the four police officers accused of having hidden Gu Kailai's murder of Neil
Heywood, did not contest the charges against them. The
first hearing began yesterday in Hefei in Anhui, the same city as Gu
Kailai's trial. They
are: Guo Weiguo, deputy chief of police in Chongqing, Li Yang, a former head of the criminal
investigation team and district officers Wang Zhi and Wang Pengfei.
note that during the trial of Gu Kailai none of the defendants mentioned the
name of Bo Xilai. Joseph
Cheng, professor of political science at City University of Hong Kong, believes
that the authorities have reached an agreement with the former leader of Chongqing. The
speed of the sessions and the great cooperation of the accused is also
to avoid involving prominent members of the Communist Party, the leadership is
believed to have given precise procedural orders with the objective of
concluding the embarrassing process before the change over in Chinese
leadership, which will take place in autumn during the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. "The
Gu trial - he continues - went so smoothly and according to the script... there
was no mention of corruption and Bo Xilai's name wasn't mentioned."
suspected murder of Neil Heywood emerged in February. In
March, the Bo Xilai case exploded into a serious crisis that has threatened the
Chinese Communist Party. His
fall is one of the most spectacular political dramas in China since
weeks before 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, re-distributing wealth to the poor, was
shared by several fringes of the party, including several "princes" such
as Xi Jinping, the heir to President Hu Jintao. In
his attempt to "clean Chongqing"
of triads and mafia, he used illegal methods and also arrested hundreds of
façade of Maoist populism did not stop Bo and his family, however, from amassing
enormous wealth at home and abroad. According
to rumors, it was his very threat of publically revealing the real proportions
of this wealth that sealed Heywood's fate, hitherto regarded as "an old
“Trial of the century" begins (and ends) against Gu Kailai
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.
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.
Chongqing saga: police and Wang Lijun on trial. Silence on Bo Xilai
Four officers are accused of helping Bo Xilai’s wife to conceal the murder of Heywood. Gu Kailai poisoned the British recruiter after making him drunk. The verdict is expected in these days. The woman, who did not contest the allegations and cooperated, will receive a soft sentence. In a few days the trial of Wang Lijun, Bo Xilai’s former right hand man, for "treason". Under no circumstances, is name of the former Party secretary of Chongqing mentioned. Leadership fears uncovering of the corrupt world of the "princes" and the Party, before the autumn Congress.
Party expels Bo Xilai, announces congress date
Bo's "actions created grave repercussions, and massively damaged the reputation of the party and the state," Xinhua reports. Forensic scientist casts doubts on the official version of British businessman's death. Party congress set for 8 November.
Death penalty for Gu Kailai. Still silence on Bo Xilai
The sentence was suspended for two years. Gu Kailai’s sentence could be commuted to life imprisonment and perhaps a release on medical grounds. Two million Chinese blog comments. Four heads of the Chongqing police department, sentenced to prison for withholding evidence of Gu’s crime. Great Britain is pleased that trial does does not apply death penalty.
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
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