China says Gu Kailai a mother protecting her son in Heywood murder

Gu Kailai and her son Bo Guagua

It was widely reported on July 29 that Bo Xilai’s wife Gu Kailai has accepted for her defence the two lawyers assigned to her by the government.

Is the girl crazy?

This is not a naive young girl. She is a well-experienced lawyer and the daughter of a high-ranking general. She has the connections to get the best lawyers for her defence.

However, she knows well that the verdict of her case has already been decided by the party’s top authorities in light of the results of the power struggle between various powerful factions that has caused her husband Bo Xilai’s downfall. Her case is merely a byproduct of the power struggle and has certainly to be determined by the results of the power struggle.

That means that the verdict has already been decided internally. It has been common knowledge in China since the founding of the People’s Republic that when  something has been “Neiding” (decided internally), one cannot change it whatever efforts one makes unless one has the connections to affect the internal authority.

Since she cannot affect what has already been decided internally by top authority, she certainly knows that the trial will only be the procedure to show the party’s respect of the rule of law. In such case, she has to cooperate with the authority in order to get as lenient a verdict as possible. In fact the authority has already provided an excuse for lenient judgment according to Xinhua report.

What is most interesting is that Gu’s case gives us the best clue in understanding the power struggle.

To facilitate our analysis, I provide below a full-text translation of the party’s official media’s report on Gu being prosecuted:

Xinhua Net dispatch from Beijing on July 26

“Regarding Bo Gu Kailai (Gu gets her husband’s surname before her name according to Chinese tradition) and Zhang Xiaojun’s case of suspected intentional homicide, the people’s procuratorate of Hefei City, Anhui Province has filed a public prosecution at Hefei City Intermediate People’s Court. In the period of investigation and initiation of the prosecution, the procuratorate informed the two defendants and their relatives of the rights of litigation they enjoy, interrogated the defendants and listened to their counsels’ opinions.

“It is found through investigation that the defendant, Bo Gu Kailai, and her son, Bo Guagua, had conflicts with the British citizen Neil Heywood due to economic interests. Believing that Neil Heywood was a threat to Bo Guagua’s personal safety, Bo Gu Kailai, therefore, fatally poisoned Neil Heywood together with Defendant Zhang Xiaojun. The facts of the two defendants’ crime being clear and the evidence, irrefutable and sufficient, criminal responsibility for intentional homicide shall be affixed in accordance with the law. Now, Hefei City   Intermediate Court has taken the case according to law and will select a day to hold the trial.”

We see from the report that now Gu Kailai has the ground of protecting her son in killing Heywood. She did not kill Heywood to prevent him from revealing her hidden wealth abroad as disclosed by foreign media! Instead of hating someone who exploited her husband high official post to make a huge fortune, people should have sympathy for a mother who has killed a foreign national to protect her son.

You bet Gu will get a lenient verdict, which will be much better than any defence lawyers can obtain.

As for the power struggle, such a verdict indicates that the reformists have not won an overwhelming victory over the conservatives and that the conservatives will still be able to hinder to some extent China’s further economic liberalisation and political reform to establish the rule of law. Bo Xilai does have fallen into disgrace, but his faction’s influence in the party remains.

Click here for all the latest stories about Gu Kailai

Categories: Crime & Corruption

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4 replies


  1. Gu Kailai murder trial to start on Thursday in China « China Daily Mail
  2. China holds murder trial of ex-leader’s wife in secret « China Daily Mail
  3. Blackmail cited as Gu Kailai’s motive in a killing that shook China « China Daily Mail
  4. China ends silence on Gu Kailai murder case « China Daily Mail

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