Gu Kailai verdict due Monday

Guilty verdict expected

 

Few doubt that Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, will be found guilty when a court in eastern China delivers a verdict in her murder case next week.

 

At a brief closed-door trial last week, Gu reportedly confessed to killing British businessman Neil Heywood, a longtime friend and business partner, over a failed financial transaction.

 

Court officials at the Intermediate People’s Court in Hefei, where Gu’s seven-hour trial was held on August 9, said her verdict will be delivered at the same court on Monday at 9:00 a.m. local time.

 

Ever since she and a household aide were charged with the crime in April, state media have been adamant that there is clear and substantial evidence to convict Gu, who is said to have acted out of an unspecified threat against her son.

 

Implications for Bo unclear

 

But official accounts of the case have made no mention of her husband Bo Xilai, a powerful ex-Communist Party boss who had been expected to become one of the party’s top leaders in a rare power transfer later this year.

 

Since the scandal broke out, Bo has been stripped of his political posts and completely hidden from public view. But his wife’s verdict and sentencing may hold keys as to how party leadership plans to handle Bo, who is being investigated on corruption charges.

 

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