Gu Kailai the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been given a two year suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Her aide Zhang Xiaojun, who she admitted helped her with the murder, also received nine years. Speaking in Mandarin at the People's Court a spokesman discussed the sentencing
"The court determined that Gu Kailai is guilty of murder and sentenced her to death with a two year reprieve, with her political rights revoked for the remainder of her life. Zhang Xiaojun was sentenced to nine years in prison for acting as an accomplice to murder."
In court Gu Kailai admitted premeditated murder. She confessed she lured Neil Heywood to Chongqing, procured cyanide, got him drunk, then poured the poison into his mouth. But she claimed she'd had a mental breakdown.
David Zweig explained the disparity of the Chinese law system.
Britain's embassy in China said in an e-mailed statement that it welcomed the "fact that the Chinese authorities have investigated the death of Neil Heywood and tried those they identified as responsible". The sentence of death with a two-year suspension means that if Gu commits no crimes while in prison, her sentence will be commuted after two years to life imprisonment and could be further reduced for good behaviour.
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