Gu Kailai's Trial to Open
Created: 2012-08-08 14:56 EST
At 8.30am on Thursday, Gu Kailai will stand trial for murder in China. It’s a case that’s exposed the façade of unity within the Communist regime. It also forced the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party to scramble for composure.
Analysts following the case see the outcome of Gu’s trial as a forgone conclusion. She and a family aid have been accused of poisoning British businessman, Neil Heywood in a hotel room in Chongqing. State-run Xinhua News Agency has already reported that evidence against Gu is, quote, “irrefutable and substantial” and that was before the trial had even taken place.
It’s expected that Gu will be convicted, but be spared the death sentence. Political Professor Joseph Cheng from the City University of Hong Kong believes Chinese leaders will try to separate Gu’s case from the larger political scandal embroiling her husband Bo Xilai.
[Joseph Cheng , Politics Professor, City University Of Hong Kong]:
"It seems that a deal has been made. Gu Kailai probably will admit all her guilt, she will assume full responsibility, leaving her husband outside of the criminal judicial process. And according to Chinese judicial convention she will be said to be good, and she (it) will probably be a bit lenient."
Chinese authorities have allowed British diplomats to listen in on the trial. Overseas media however have been kept out. Former Chinese journalist Gao Yu says publicity of the case will be strictly controlled.
[Gao Yun, Veteran Chinese Journalist]:
“Actually the media will be kept out of the hearing. They will strictly bar the media and the public at large to attend the hearing…I expect them to control the reporting of the details of the hearing as well as court documents.”
Heywood’s murder surfaced after Chongqing’s former police Chief Wang Lijun fled to a US Consulate in February. This unravelled a series of allegations against Bo Xilai and Gu Kailai. It also threw a spanner in the normally choreographed leadership transition scheduled for later this year. Before the scandal, Bo had been a hopeful for entering the ruling circle of the Communist Party.