News / Asia

Bo Xilai's Wife Confesses in Murder Case

This video image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai, second left, being taken to court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, August 9, 2012.
This video image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai, second left, being taken to court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, August 9, 2012.
VOA News
Chinese state media say the wife of politician Bo Xilai has confessed to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood and vowed to accept her sentence.

Xinhua state news agency reported Gu Kailai's statement Friday, quoting her as saying the case has been "like a huge stone" weighing on her for more than half a year. She said her actions were the result of a "mental breakdown," but that she accepts responsibility for them.

Xinhua reported on Friday that Gu's statements were made during her seven-hour trial in the eastern city of Hefei a day earlier.

Also Friday, state media say four Chinese police officers admitted to the Hefei court that they tried to help her cover up the suspected poisoning death last November. Until accusations against Gu emerged this year, Heywood's death had been reported as possible overuse of alcohol.

The four had served in Bo Xilai's political stronghold, the southwestern city of Chongqing. Prosecutors said the men forged interview transcripts and hid evidence.

Bo Xilai's wife, Gu Kailai, is at the center of one of the most sensational scandals to rock China's Communist Party.

  • Did not dispute charges she murdered British businessman Neil Heywood
  • Charged with the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood
  • Worked as a successful lawyer before retiring as her husband's career took off
  • Wrote a book about her experience helping Chinese companies win a U.S. legal battle
  • Daughter of a prominent Communist leader

​Verdicts are pending in both trials, which were closed to independent media and heavily guarded.

Analysts say the outcome of the case against the police officials could determine Bo Xilai's eventual fate.  Before he lost his political posts in a corruption scandal, he seemed destined to become one of China's most powerful politicians.

James Feinerman, the co-director of Georgetown Law School’s Asia program, said the purpose of the trial could be to further implicate Bo, leading to his own indictment.

"If you want to conclusively nail down the lid on Bo Xilai's coffin, one of the things you would do is to get these people to admit in open court to having conspired to do this," said Feinerman. "And then the obvious implication is that Bo Xilai was overseeing this, or was at least informed of what they were doing."

Many supporters of the charismatic Bo suspect that the case against his wife is part of a wider effort to ruin his political career ahead of a rare leadership transfer in the Communist Party later this year.

The son of a famous revolutionary leader, the charismatic Bo was a top contender for the Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body, before he was stripped of his political position.

Bo has not been heard from in months. He has not been charged with a crime, but is under investigation for "serious violations of discipline" by the Communist Party.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video VOA ‘Town Hall’ Shines Light on Ebola Crisis

Experts call for greater speed in identification and treatment of deadly disease More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Funding Program Helps Extremely Poor in Ghana

Broad objective for Ghana's social cash transfer program is to lessen the impact of poverty on the most vulnerable people, elderly, orphans, those with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid