Wife of Bo Xilai charged with murder of Neil Heywood

Published:  28 Jul at 9 AM
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Tagged: Canada, China
Gu Kailai, the wife of Bo Xilai, the former Chinese political leader, has been charged with murdering Neil Heywood, a British businessman. My Heywood’s body was discovered in a Chongqing hotel room in November last year.

Originally, officials investigating the case concluded that the businessman had died after drinking alcohol. However, Mr Bo’s wife was implicated in the case in April by the government. The Hefei Municipal Procuratorate has since charged Ms Gu and Zhang Xiaojun, a member of Mr Bo’s household staff, with intentional homicide.

Analysts say that both the timing of the government’s announcement and the fact that Ms Gu is being tried in Anhui which is a long way from Chongqing is significant. If Ms Gu had been taken to the city for prosecution it is likely that the trial would have been influenced by the political influence her husband still has there.

It is thought that the government wants to have the scandal to be dealt with quickly as the country is preparing to undergo a Communist Party leadership change in the Autumn, something that only happens once every decade.

The British government has said it is pleased that China was still investigating the death of Mr Heywood. However, although it is known that he had dealings with the Bo family, it is still unclear exactly what the relationship entailed.

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