CHINA DAILY, XINHUA (China), BBC NEWS (UK), CNN (USA), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)
HEFEI – Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese Politician Bo Xilai, has been given a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, reports BBC News.
Gu's death penalty has been suspended for two years due to her weakened mental capacity while committing the crime and her close cooperation with police during the investigation, reports CNN.
Her sentence is likely be commuted to life imprisonment and could be further reduced for good behavior, if she doesn't commit any crimes during the two-year reprieve, reports BBC News.
Gu Kailai was deprived of political rights for life. She did not contest charges, reports China Daily and was jailed immediately following the verdict. Neither Gu nor Zhang will appeal their verdicts.
According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, she admitted she poisoned Neil Heywood in a hotel room in Chongqing, helped by her aid, Zhang Xiaojun, who was jailed for nine years for his part in the murder.
At the time, the death of Heywood was recorded as a heart attack. But four months later Bo Xilai's right-hand man, police chief Wang Lijun, fled to a U.S. consulate, where he alleged murder and a massive cover-up, reports CNN.
Heywood is said to have been a business associate and a close friend of the Bo family. Gu's husband was destined to join the elite committee of leaders at the top of China's ruling part, reports BBC News. He was sacked in March and is currently under investigation for unspecified "disciplinary violations.”
The British Embassy in Beijing welcomed the Chinese investigation and the verdict, reports CNN.