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

    » 08/20/2012, 00.00


    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.

    Hefei (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Kailai Gu, the wife of Bo Xilai, the disgraced former chief of Chongqing, has been sentenced to death by the court in Anhui for the killing of British businessman Neil Heywood. The judgment, however, was suspended for two years. Again, neither the media nor the court mentioned the name of her husband, who until a few months ago was considered one of the possible candidates for the Politburo Standing Committee, the supreme power in China.

    The two-year suspension of the judgment indicates that if Gu behaves well, the death penalty will be commuted to life imprisonment and perhaps even reduced, until she is free in a few years.

    At the trial, held over a few hours on August 9, Gu Kailai admitted she poisoned Heywood with cyanide, but claimed she did so under great stress because the recruiter - who had collaborated in unclear business transactions with the family of Bo - had threatened the life of her son Gu Guagua. Kailai Gu's butler who helped in the murder, was sentenced to 9 years in prison.

    Gu's verdict closes one of the most intricate scandals in the history of the Communist Party, a few weeks from Congress that should lead to the resignation of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao and the launch of the fifth generation of leaders, with Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang as new president and premier. Together, Congress should also see the restructuring of the Politburo. The fall of Bo, who is also a leader of the Fifth Generation, is a powerful sign of a power struggle within the Party. At the same time, the condemnation of Gu Kailai without in any way implicating her husband Bo - in collaboration in the murder, in the concealment of the fact, in corrupt economic cooperation with the victim - is an attempt to save a minimum of dignity for the party in a period of great scandal and contempt by the population.

    As soon as Gu's verdict was released, the Chinese blogs were filled with over 2 million comments, criticizing the suspended sentence, the first step towards her release, perhaps for medical reasons. As at the time of trial, all the news reports that explicitly speak of Gu and Bo are censored.

    Two British diplomats were admitted to Gu's trial. The British Embassy in Beijing issued a message that it applauds the fact that "Chinese authorities investigated the death of Neil Heywood and prosecuted those who have been identified as responsible."

    The message points out that Britain has " consistently made clear to the Chinese authorities that we wanted to see the trials in this case conform to international human rights standards and for the death penalty not to be applied."

    Meanwhile, in another trial held on August 10, four heads of the Chongqing police department were prosecuted for concealing evidence of the murder of Heywood. Bo Xilai, the once powerful and charismatic leader of Chongqing, was never mentioned here either. The policemen were sentenced to 5 to 11 years in prison.


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    See also

    17/08/2012 CHINA
    Quick verdict for Gu Kailai on August 20, as Communist Party prepares for Congress
    Gu Kailai has confessed to the murder of businessman Heywood, with a motive: concern for her son's life. Perhaps to escape the death penalty. The party tries to save itself during trial: no one gives the name of Bo Xilai, the fallen chief of Chongqing. Meanwhile preparations for the 18th Congress of the Communist Party push ahead. Security in the capital ensured by over 27 thousand soldiers and the "iron fist" of the police.

    09/08/2012 CHINA
    “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.

    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.

    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.

    10/08/2012 CHINA
    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.

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