[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
China sets date for Gu Kailai murder trial
Case against ousted Chinese politician's wife will start next Thursday in Hefei city in east China, lawyers say.
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012 19:32
Gu Kailai, left, and a family aide (not in picture) are accused of poisoning UK businessman Neil Heywood [Reuters]

The murder trial of the wife of ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai will start next Thursday in Hefei city in east China, two lawyers told the Associated Press news agency.

The news came a week after China formally announced Gu Kailai indictment on charges of murdering Neil Heywood, a British man, in November.

The date is a sign the case is advancing before China's once-a-decade political transition.

The lawyers close to the case spoke to the AP on Friday on condition of anonymity because Chinese authorities would likely sanction anyone who discloses details about the tightly controlled case.

Gu and a family aide, Zhang Xiaojun, are accused of poisoning British businessman Heywood, an associate of the Bo family.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Gu had a falling out with Heywood over money and worried that her son's safety was threatened.

The murder case is at the centre of a political scandal that has highlighted factions in the Chinese leadership ahead of the power handover to a younger generation of leaders later this year.

Bo was once considered a strong contender for a seat on the all-powerful, nine-member Politburo Standing Committee.

Heywood's death was initially ruled accidental, but murder suspicions surfaced after the police chief who served under Bo, then the party chief in Chongqing city, made a surprise visit in February to a US consulate, where he apparently divulged information linking Gu to Heywood's death.

Bo was sacked from his position in March. He is under party investigation for unspecified discipline violations. No formal charges have been brought against him.

258

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list