Two government-appointed lawyers will be defending Gu Kailai in the murder case against her, a lawyer familiar with her case said on Saturday. Gu Kailai is the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai and has been charged with murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Gu Kailai’s decision to be defended by government-appointed attorneys may speed up the conclusion of the case.
Gu’s defense lawyers, Jiang Min and Zhou Yuhao, are based in Anhui Province, which is also where Gu will be held on trial. It is hundreds of miles away from the location where she allegedly murdered Neil Heywood.
Heywood died in Chongqing, yet Gu will be tried at Hefei City in Anhui Province. However, in the past there have been similar cases of politicians who were tried outside of their power bases.
Carl Minzner, an expert in Chinese law and governance at Fordham University School of Law, said that Gu Kailai’s agreement to allow government-appointed defense attorneys to handle the case shows Hefei courts will deal with the matter in strict accordance with the law.