World Bulletin / News Desk
A Chinese court will give a verdict on Monday on Gu Kailai, the Chinese politician's wife tried for murdering a British businessman, triggering a scandal that shook the ruling Communist Party.
There seems little doubt Gu will be pronounced guilty by the court in Hefei, a city in central China, after she admitted at her trial on Aug. 9 to colluding with a family aide, Zhang Xiaojun, to poison businessman Neil Heywood over a business dispute that she said prompted him to threaten her son.
"The verdicts for Gu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun will be announced at 9 a.m. on Monday," an official with the Hefei Intermediate People's Court told Reuters.
The scandal over Heywood's death has already ended the career of Gu's husband, Bo Xilai, who ran the southwestern city of Chongqing where the murder happened in November.
Suspicion about Heywood's death came to light after Bo's former long-time police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to a U.S. consulate for about 24 hours in early February and exposed the allegations.
Chinese courts usually deliver verdicts and sentences at the same hearing, and Gu and Zhang could receive the death penalty.
But lawyers have said Gu is likely to receive a long prison term, possibly life, because government accounts of the case have stressed she was seeking to protect her son, Bo Guagua, who was until recently a student at Harvard University.
At the trial, Zhang said he was merely Gu's accomplice.
A day after Gu's trial, four policemen from Chongqing admitted in the same court to trying to cover up the murder.
Bo was sacked as Chongqing boss in March and his wife was publicly accused of the murder in April, when Bo was dumped from the Politburo and detained on an accusation he had violated party discipline - code for corruption, abuse of power and other misdeeds. Bo could be investigated for possible criminal offences after the Communist Party concludes its own inquiry.
Bo's downfall has stirred more public division than that of any other party leader for more than 30 years.To leftist supporters, Bo became a charismatic rallying figure for efforts to reimpose party control over dizzying, unequal market growth.
But he had made some powerful enemies among those who saw him as a dangerous opportunist who yearned to impose his harsh policies on the entire country.
The Pakistani defence minister has said that Pakistan will respond if India continues to target civilians. 13 people were killed on Friday after Indian forces opened gunfire across the border on Friday.
Protesters have blocked off the central square with estimates of up to 200,000 people gathering to protest against Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Police raided an apartment used by the man in northern Bangkok on Saturday and discovered possible bomb-making materials, according to a police spokesman
More than an estimated 40,000 gather in Kuala Lumpur for two-day rally to demand resignation of Najib Razak over corruption scandal.
Taliban are making gains in Faryab province where only recently Afghan Vice President General Dostum claimed victory over the group
Kyrgyz president says country now obtained energy independence
Upcoming summit can be a 'great opportunity' to strengthen and deepen relationship between two countries
Shelling from India has claimed the lives of nine civilians as India fired shells across the border of Indian occupied Kashmir
A total of 22 warships and vessels, up to 20 jets and helicopters, more than 500 marines and 40 units of equipment were involved in the drills
Marines wounded in clash as government forces continue to pursue Abu Sayyaf fighters holding hostages in Philippines south.
Court ordered the Federal Investigation Agency, which probed the cases, to apprehend Gilani, who was prime minister from 2008 to 2012
Malay Muslim insurgents groups active in southern Thailand ask for immunity from criminal prosecution; Thai gov't wants 'violence-free zones'
Southeast Asian country wants US to watch over its ships in the disputed sea
Courts in at least five cities in Uighur populated region jailed suspects for several crimes including 'organising terrorist groups', 'illegal border crossing'
Report says 626 now returned in five rounds, leaving 101 waiting in Myanmar to be repatriated
Two countries decide to meet, after NSA-backed high-level peace talks collapsed days earlier