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article imageGu Kailai's trial begins and ends

By Layne Weiss     Aug 9, 2012 in Crime
Hefei - The murder trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of ousted political leader, Bo Xilai, began in Hefei, China Thursday morning and ended around 7 hours later. Ms. Gu is accused of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011.
Court officials said Thursday that Ms. Gu and her aide, Zhang Xiaojun, who the court considers to be her accomplice in Heywood's murder, have not contested the murder charges, which they consider to be close enough to a confession, The NY Times reports.
Prosecutors said that Gu Kalai drank with Heywood in his hotel room in Chongqing until he vomited. When Mr. Heywood asked for some water, Ms. Gu gave him the poison the poison that killed him, the prosecution argued according to The Guardian.
The prosecution also said that the poison administered to Mr. Heywood was prepared in advance and kept with the family aide and "accomplice," Zhang Xiaojun, The NY Times reports.
The court, however, provided no further details of Mr. Zhang's exact role in Mr. Heywood's death, nor did it give any specifics as to who prepared the poison.
According to BBC News, the date of the verdict will be announced at a later date.
Court official Tang Yigan argued that "the criminal facts are clear and the evidence is solid," The NY Times reports.
Mr. Tang, however, also said that Mr. Heywood is somewhat responsible for his own death because he threatened the life of Ms. Gu's 24 year old son Bo Guagua, a recent Harvard graduate.
According to BBC News, Ms. Gu was worried about "Neil Heywood's threat to her son's personal security."
Analysts believe that since Ms. Gu feared for her son's life, it might lessen her chance of getting the death penalty, The NY Times reports.
No foreign media were permitted to attend Thursday's trial, The Guardian reports. Court officials argued that there was simply no room, but many empty seats could be seen in the news footage.
Two British diplomats were in attendance, as were friends and relatives of Mr. Heywood and the defendants.
According to BBC News, Chinese media reports that 4 police officers, accused of protecting Ms. Gu from prosecution, will go on trial Friday.
More about Gu Kailai, Neil Heywood, Bo Xilai, Murder trial, charges uncontested
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