The murder trial for the wife of ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai will start Thursday in the city of Hefei, according to an unidentified friend of the family. Gu Kailai was officially charged last week with the “intentional murder” of a British man who had business dealings with her family. Family aide Zhang Xiaojun was also charged with murder.
Kailai and Xiaojun are accused of poisoning businessman Neil Haywood after a dispute over finances led Kailai to believe Heywood was a threat to the “personal security” of her son, Bo Guagua. Investigators say Guagua was involved in the disagreement, but not in Haywood’s murder. The official Xinhua news agency says the evidence against Kailai and Xiaojun is “irrefutable and substantial."
Haywood was found dead in a Chongqing hotel last November. Four months later, Bo Xilai was removed from his position as the chief of Chongqing amid allegations of corruption. He remains under house arrest in Chongqing.
After the charges against Kailai and Xiaojun were announced, a spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office released a statement saying they “are glad to see that the Chinese authorities are continuing with the investigation into the death of Neil Heywood.” “We are dedicated to seeking justice for him and his family and we will be following developments closely,” the spokesman added.
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