» 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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."
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
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
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