» 08/17/2012, 00.00
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.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - The verdict of the "trial
of the century", against Kailai Gu, Bo Xilai's wife (see photo), the
powerful former head of Chongqing, will be handed down on 20 August.
an August 9 trial lasting only a few hours Gu Kailai was charged with having
poisoned businessman Neil Heywood, aided by her servant Zhang Xiaojun. Both risk the death penalty.
spokesman for the court explained that Gu Kailai has confessed to the murder,
but also pointed out that she was motivated by concerns that Heywood would threaten
the life of her son.
believe that this mitigating factor will help the woman to escape the death
penalty, which may be deferred to a long sentence and later transformed into a
name of Bo Xilai, Gu's husband, was never mentioned during the trial. With Heywood's help, Bo had built a commercial
and financial empire for the whole family with basis in China, Hong Kong, and
the Caribbean. But
Bo resigned as party secretary of Chongqing in March and seems to be under general
investigation for "violations of party discipline."
to some young people in Beijing, the Party leadership has managed to manipulate
the trial and reduce the charges to murder of the British entrepreneur - killed
because he wanted to reveal the economic empire of Bo to the public - without
looking into the question of corruption of Bo Xilai or other party members.
October, the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party leadership opens,
underling the necessity to avoid further tarnishing its image with accusations
of corruption or betrayal of Communist ideals.
preparations for the Congress have begun in the capital, which will gather
around 2 thousand delegates from all over the country. On
the agenda is the change of leadership, which should see Xi Jinping and Li
Keqiang rise to the presidency and the premiership taking over from Hu Jintao
and Wen Jiabao. The
Politburo Standing Committee, the true power brokers within the Party composed
of nine persons, is also expected to see a reshuffle. Of these
nine, five will resign on reaching retirement age. Bo
Xilai, before his fall, was one of the possible candidates.
delicate situation of the transition of power coupled with population's grievances
towards the Party have led to a major increase in security in the capital. At
least 27 thousand soldiers, police and armed guards will be deployed every day
to ensure the smooth conduct of the Congress.
days ago, police chief Fu Zhenghua, told the press that "Beijing police will
have to tow a hard line to ensure discipline."
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.
“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
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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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