[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Bo Xilai's wife charged with murder
Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced political leader, has been charged with murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2012 05:58

The wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai and a family aide have been charged with the murder of a British businessman, state news agency Xinhua has reported.

Xinhua said on Thursday that the prosecutor's indictment said Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, had a falling out with Briton Neil Heywood over money and worried that it would threaten her and their son's safety.

Gu and the aide, Zhang Xiaojun, are alleged to have poisoned Heywood together, the report said.

"The facts of the two defendants' crime are clear, and the evidence is irrefutable and substantial. Therefore, the two defendants should be charged with intentional homicide," Xinhua said.

It did not give a date for the trial, but a family lawyer told the Reuters news agency it was likely to take place on August 7-8.

The announcement comes months before the ruling Communist Party unveils a new top leadership.

Heywood was found dead in a hotel in Chongqing in November last.

Local officials initially said he died of excessive drinking, but the government announced in April it was investigating Bo's wife in connection with the case.

They were charged in the eastern city of Hefei, Xinhua said.

It did not say when exactly the indictment was issued or when the crime occurred and why the case is being prosecuted in Hefei and not in Chongqing, the metropolis Bo ran as Communist party secretary and where the couple lived.

Prosecutors have interrogated Bo and Zhang and have "heard the opinions" of their defence lawyers, Xinhua said.

Bo, the former leader of the south-western Chinese province of Chongqing, was sacked in March and is now under investigation for a string of accusations ranging from an abuse of power to flouting rules against the Communist party.

Bo, 62, was widely seen as pushing for a spot in that new leadership until felled by the scandal brought to light by his former police chief, Wang Lijun.

The removal of Bo has triggered rifts and uncertainty, disrupting the Communist Party's usually secretive and carefully
choreographed process of settling on a new central leadership in the run up to its 18th congress.

348

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.