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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Murder Trial Leads To Political Scandal In China

Books on Gu Kailai with her portrait in the cover are displayed at a book shop in Hong Kong. (AP/Vincent Yu, File)

Books on Gu Kailai with her portrait in the cover are displayed at a book shop in Hong Kong. (AP/Vincent Yu, File)

A typhoon blew into the city of Heifei in China on Wednesday, as the country’s most high profile trial in decades got underway. The details in the case are in the category of “if it hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t believe it.”

Gu Kailai is the wife of Bo Xilai, formerly one of the top leaders in the Chinese Communist Party, is on trial for the murder of China-based British businessman Neil Haywood. The turning point in the case came when a police commissioner who worked for the husband of the accused showed up at an American consulate seeking asylum. He reportedly said he feared for his life and brought with him proof of his boss’s wife’s guilt in the murder.

The case has exposed epic levels of corruption, and naked jockeying of power at the highest levels of the Communist party. Both Gu and Bo are members of the so-called Red Aristocracy, descendants of top Communist leaders.

Gu, the accused, is also one of China’s most prominent lawyers. She is celebrated especially for a case she helped Chinese companies win in Mobile, Ala. where some still think of her as the “Jackie Kennedy of China.”

Guest:

  • Marion E. Wynne, Jr., an attorney who worked with Gu Kailai in Mobila, Ala.
  • John Pomfret, China correspondent for the Washington Post

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