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.
Nepal PM resigns after key coalition partner withdraws following almost a year of political tension
Authorities say 34 Indonesian illegal immigrants rescued off southern Johor state, rescue operations ongoing
Well-known political analyst Kem Ley shot dead while drinking his morning coffee at convenience store in capital
Media and watchdog groups had been demanding the reform, the first national freedom of information order, for years.
Fears that targeting of Shia Hazara community could worsen sectarian violence in Afghanistan
A double suicide attack has killed at least 80 people with ISIL claiming responsibility for the attack
2 explosions rip through 1,000-people protest against power line plan in Kabul, Afghanistan
Rodrigo Duterte says will push for law pursued by one-time largest Muslim rebel group, minus ‘unconstitutional’ provisions
Indian forces have shot at numerous protestors with more than 3000 people injured after violence flared after the killing of 18 year old Burhan Wari
Rally is latest in string of demonstrations held across Pakistan since July 15 coup attempt to hail resolve and commitment of Turkish people
The shrine, a popular stop for East Asian tourists, was thronged with worshippers at the time of the accident.
Top business leader decries ex-president's release, calling it setback to Philippines' fight against graft, corruption
Statement from tripartite meeting underlines aspirations to locate flight missing since March 8, 2014 not abandoned
Pakistani PM Sharif's PML has won 32 out of total 41 seats
In first trip as military commander-in-chief, Rodrigo Duterte talks of ways to address 'historical wrongs' done to Muslims
Resurrects feud over plans to relocate US air base within prefecture hosting most of US military establishment in Japan