Gu Kailai, Bo Xilai's wife, gets suspended death sentence for British businessman's murder (+video)
Gu Kailai will likely face life in prison for her role in the death last year of Neil Haywood. Gu Kailai admitted to poisoning the British businessman.
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"I think there's a range of options, such as economic crimes, concealing a crime, or obstructing justice that could all be used against him," He said. "I don't think that we can say that Bo Xilai has been cut free from this."Skip to next paragraph
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"ALL ABOUT POLITICS"
A source close to Bo's family told Reuters that China's leadership had yet to make a final decision on how to deal with him, and the lack of any mention of him in the trial left room for negotiation over his fate.
Bo has only been accused of unspecified violations of party discipline that possibly include corruption, abuse of power and other misdeeds. These could lead to his expulsion from the party but criminal charges could see him locked away, making it much less likely that he could ever be politically rehabilitated.
"Bo Xilai might be tried so that he can be silenced and ensure he can't stage a comeback," said the source close to Bo's family, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But the lack of mention of his name leaves room for him to bargain on what mistakes he has to acknowledge."
Bo's downfall has stirred more division than that of any other leader for more than two decades.
To leftist supporters, Bo was a rallying figure for efforts to reimpose party control over dizzying, unequal market growth. But he made foes among those who saw him as an opportunist who wanted to impose his hardline policies on the country.
Bo's hopes for climbing into China's next top leadership unravelled after his former police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to a U.S. consulate in early February for about 24 hours and exposed the murder allegations.
Britain's embassy in China said in an emailed statement that it welcomed the "fact that the Chinese authorities have investigated the death of Neil Heywood and tried those they identified as responsible". It added that Britain had asked the Chinese authorities not to apply the death penalty.
Bo, the son of a revolutionary, ran Chongqing where Heywood was killed. Bo was seen as competing for a seat in the Politburo Standing Committee, the body at the pinnacle of power in China, at a once-in-a-decade leadership transition later this year.
He was sacked as Chongqing boss in March and Gu was publicly accused of the murder in April, when Bo was suspended from the Politburo, a 25-member elite council that ranks below the Standing Committee. He has yet to be expelled from that council.
Bo has not been seen in public since March, when he gave a combative defence of his policies and family at a news conference during China's annual parliament session.
Bo's ardent sympathisers remain convinced he is the victim of plotting by his enemies. Wang Zheng, a Beijing woman who has campaigned in his defence, said the government would face an uproar if it decided to prosecute him.
"This is all about politics. It's got nothing to do with some sort of rule of law," said Wang, a former college teacher.