Conflict & Justice

China: Gu Kailai Sentenced


GGu Kailai stood to hear the verdict at the Hefei Intermediate People's Court. (REUTERS/Reuters TV)

They're calling it the biggest trial in China in a generation.

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On one level, it's a simple murder case.

But the perpetrator is Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced former top Communist Party official, Bo Xilai.

The victim was a foreign businessman; Neil Heywood, from Britain.

On Monday, Gu Kailai, was given a suspended death sentence.

It's unusual in China for those found guilty of intentional homicide to be spared immediate execution.

Zhang Lijia, an independent writer and journalist in Beijing, says the trial has fascinated China, providing a rare glimpse inside the world of the nation's elite.

Many Chinese, says Zhang, are concerned to know if the trial followed the law strictly, since it was conducted so hastily.