- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
China: Politician’s wife admitted murdering Brit
BEIJING — The wife of a disgraced top Chinese politician was a depressed woman on medication but a willful murderer who poisoned a British businessman while in fear for her son’s life, official media said Friday in what appeared to be a prelude to her conviction and punishment after a seven-hour trial.
The official Xinhua News Agency — in a 3,400-word report that was its most detailed accounting of the scandal that has shaken the country’s leadership — said Gu Kailai and her co-defendant “confessed to intentional murder” in the death of her business associate Neil Heywood last November.
It said evidence showed she used cyanide to poison him in a Chongqing hotel room but also describes her as depressed and fearful that Heywood would harm her family — factors that may bring leniency in her sentence.
Gu’s arrest and the ouster of her husband Bo Xilai, the Communist Party boss of Chongqing until March, sparked the biggest political turbulence in China since the putdown of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Her tightly orchestrated trial was a step toward resolving the scandal before the party’s once-a-decade leadership transition this fall.
The court in Hefei in eastern China’s Anhui province that heard her speedy trial on Thursday said a verdict against Gu and the family aide accused as an accomplice would be delivered later. Their trial was followed Friday by the trial of four senior Chongqing police officers accused of helping Gu cover up the crime.
Xinhua said Gu accepted all the facts in the indictment and was ready to accept her punishment, saying: “The tragedy which was created by me was not only extended to Neil, but also to several families.”
Gu said Heywood wrote a letter of self-introduction in about 2005 when her son Bo Guagua was studying in Britain. They then got involved in a land project that never got off the ground. According to Xinhua, she said Heywood later got into a dispute with her and her son over payment and other issues and she “believed Heywood had threatened the personal safety of her son and decided to kill Heywood.”
It said that according to testimony that prosecutors presented in court, Gu said: “To me, that was more than a threat. It was real action that was taking place. I must fight to my death to stop the craziness of Neil Heywood.”
The report did not detail any alleged threats or say why the murder then took place seven years later when Bo Guagua was a graduate student at Harvard. The court was presented with emails between him and Heywood showing how their dispute escalated, Xinhua said, without detailing the contents.
The report said Gu, 53, has been treated for chronic insomnia, anxiety and depression and paranoia in the past, and had unsuccessfully used various drugs to overcome those problems, and that she had “developed a certain degree of physical and psychological dependence on sedative hypnotic drugs, which resulted in mental disorders.”
But it said Gu “had a clear goal and a practical motive in committing the alleged crime,” shown by the preparations prior to Heywood’s death, such as arranging the poison and location in an isolated hotel.
That meant, Xinhua said, that although she had “a weakened ability to control herself,” Gu knew the consequences of the alleged crime and therefore “she should be identified as having the capacity to accept full criminal responsibility.”
Xinhua quoted Gu as saying “the case has produced great losses to the Party and the country, for which I ought to shoulder the responsibility” and that she was grateful to the humanitarian care shown to her by those who handled the case.
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
White House pets gone wild!