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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid