Murder Trial of Bo Xilai's Wife Lasts 7 Hours

Verdict for Gu Kailai will come later
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2012 6:27 AM CDT
Murder Trial of Bo Xilai's Wife Lasts 7 Hours
Police officers stand guard at the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court where the murder trial of Gu Kailai, wife of ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai, took place in Anhui Province.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The wife of deposed Chinese official Bo Xilai didn't reject accusations that she murdered a British businessman during her single day in court. The hearings in the high-profile trial of Gu Xilai began and ended in just seven hours today, but a verdict won't come until a later, unspecified date, CNN reports. The prosecution asserted that Gu and family aide Zhang Xiaojun invited Neil Heywood to a hotel in the city of Chongqing for alcohol and tea. Heywood started vomiting and wanted water, at which point Gu handed Zhang poison which he administered to the businessman, the prosecution said.

Neither Gu nor Zhang opposed the prosecution's story. "The criminal facts are clear; the evidence is solid," said court official Tang Yigan, who noted that Gu's "ability to control her mental state was weaker than that of a normal person." But he added that Heywood wasn't blameless in the case, having threatened Gu's son, Bo Guagua—which could be enough to spare Gu from being handed the death penalty, analysts tell the New York Times. But things don't look good for Gu and Zhang in general: A 2010 US State Department report logged a conviction rate of 99.9% for first- and second-time defendants in Chinese criminal trials. (More Bo Xilai stories.)

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