Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bo Xilai's Wife faces death penalty if convicted of British expat's murder after being named chief suspect

The wife of a senior Chinese Communist Party official could face the death penalty if convicted of the murder of murder of a British businessman after being named prime suspect in the case.

Gu Kailai, the wife ex-Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, is being held on suspicion of killing Neil Heywood, who died in the city last November.

Bo has himself been suspended from the party's 25-member Politburo on suspicion of involvement in 'serious discipline violations'.

The Chinese government said a fresh investigation into the murder is under way, and named Gu, Mr Bo's 53-year-old second wife, and Zhang Xiaojun, 'an orderly at Bo's home' as suspects.

The pair have been 'transferred to judicial authorities on suspected crime of intentional homicide'. The maximum penalty for murder in China is death.

Bo is the most senior leader to be suspended from the Politburo since Shanghai's party chief was removed for corruption six years ago.

The announcements provide details on what has been a lurid, divisive and embarrassing affair for the China's leadership.

The scandal has brought political infighting out of the usually closed confines of elite party politics and into public view. Read More