The trial of Bo Xilai’s wife is currently underway in China. This landmark case involves Mrs. Gu who is accused of poisoning Neil Haywood, a national businessman. Far from the traditional criminal case, this involves widespread speculation that her accusal was brought about specifically to topple her husband, a formerly powerful politician in the Chinese rigime.
Mrs. Gu is currently standing before a panel of three judges, and the burden is on her to prove her innocence. Her chances are not good, as more than 95 percent of criminal cases in China end with a guilty verdict. If she is sentenced, penalties could be harsh. Her husband could also be viewed as a conspirator, and he may not escape punishment either. Past murder cases have resulted in the swift execution of those charged, and that might possibly be the fate of this family as well.
While no murder crime deserves to go unpunished, this one is far from the traditional case. There is much speculation about the reasons behind the indictment, and many say that it is all about Bo Xalai’s rise to power and not at all about whether is wife is actually guilty or not. The Chinese government disagrees however, and they state Mrs. Gu will receive a fair trial, and she will face no punishment unless she is actually guilty of the crime.
While Bo himself might escape the harshest of punishment, it is almost certain that this family will not receive the fairest of trials. They are certainly not being treated in the same way as if they were United States citizens being indicted. Their greatest hopes might lay in the media attention this case is receiving, and the desire of the Chinese government to be looked upon favorably in this case by the international media outlets.
Time will tell what the outcome of this case will be, and with some luck, true justice will be served.