» 08/20/2012 CHINA 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.