Econintersect: The tragedy of former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai continues. The outcast from political power has now seen his wife, Gu Kailai, formally charged with the murder last fall of Neil Heywood, a Briton who had a close relationship with the family. GEI News had followed this story earlier this year, including the speculation about the possible murder charges. A family aid has also been charged in the indictment.
Some details from NBC News:
The official Xinhua News Agency reported 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. Heywood’s death in November was attributed initially to a heart attack or excessive drinking.
“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.
From GEI News in April:
The Mirror has suggested that Heywood had been having a love affair with Gu and had a falling out just before he died. The same report also said that Heywood may have helped Gu “siphon” £800 million overseas.
It has also been suggested that Heywood might have been a spy (ITV News).
Perhaps the true details of the activities of the murder victim and the Xilai family will become clearer when the trial is held, perhaps as early as the first orsecond week of August.
Pictures of Heywood, Bo and Gu can be viewed in the GEI News April 16 article.
An article in The Telegraph indicates there is still a possibility that Bo himself could be charged with regard to the crime. Before Bo was removed from his Chongqing position in March, he was thought to be in the running for elevation to the all-powerful nine-man Politburo Standing Committee when the 10-year government transition to a new team of leaders for China takes place this fall. He is still being investigated for a “severe breach of Party discipline” (The Telegraph). It is widely assumed Bo is being held in some kind of detention.
- Wife of ousted China politician charged with Briton’s murder (Edmund Flanagan, Eric Baculinao and Joy Le, NBC News, 26 July 2012)
- GEI News articles about Bo Xilai and Gu Kailai (March and April 2012)
- Gu Kailai poisoned Neil Heywood ‘after he threatened her son’ (Malcolm Moore, The Telegraph, 26 July 2012)