Angela Lansbury better brush up on her Mandarin, and get her butt over to Chongqing. Gu Kailai will be tried for murder. She is the wife of disgraced former head of Chongqing Region, Bo Xilai (see earlier post). And this is definitely a capital crime. Lose your trial, Gu, and you’ll be executed (and likely harvested for organs – sorry, but it’s true).
Angela, get on your bike!
Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday that Gu Kailai will be tried for the intentional homicide of Neil Heywood, a British businessman who was a close family friend. The murder weapon was poison. The motivation was that Heywood knew of extremely large money transfers and threatened to tell authorities and implicate her son.
Yet news in China is never that straightforward. Xinhua actually reported:
“Worried about Neil Heywood’s threat to her son’s personal safety, Bogu (Gu) Kailai together with Zhang Xiaojun poisoned Neil Heywood.”
Analysts say the mention of her only son in the news reports signal a softer approach to sentencing by China’s Authorities. Courts can impose as little as three years jail time if the murder was in response to threats against the person or their family.
They need all the wiggle room they can get. Bo Xilai is a very popular political figure amongst traditionalist Communists. He is renowned for his patriotism, his equitable programs for the poor and his ardour for all things Mao.
It would be…bad blood…to execute Bo Xilai’s wife. (Her cohort Zhang Xiaojun may as well select a funeral suit because somebody’s going down for this crime.)
All this comes at an inconvenient time for the Communist Party of China. They’re preparing for the 18th National People’s Congress sometime this fall. This celebration of the great and good China need not be impeded by a tawdry murder. Expect a quick trial to resolve this. Fast.
Sadly they lack a corpse. Heywood was cremated right after his death. There’s no autopsy report, either. But I won’t imagine that would interfere with a guilty verdict. This crisis has been playing itself out in the daily newspapers since it broke in February.
I forecast a rapid trial and an appeal within two weeks. Then two cars will leave the courthouse, one heading to a white-collar prison with Gu Kailai and the other to a remote field with Zhang Xiaojun and a gunman.
Angela, get moving!