The wife of ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai has officially been charged with the “intentional murder” of a British man who had business dealings with her family. The official Xinhua news agency reports Gu Kailai was charged in the city of Hefei where a local court has accepted the case. A trial date has not been set. Family aide Zhang Xiaojun was also charged with murder.
Xinhua reports Kailai and Xiaojun poisoned businessman Neil Haywood after a dispute over finances led Kailai to believe Heywood was a threat to the “personal security” of her son, Bo Guagua. Investigators say Guagua was involved in the disagreement, but not in Haywood’s murder. Xinhua says the evidence against Kailai and Xiaojun is “irrefutable and substantial."
Haywood was found dead in a Chongqing hotel last November. Four months later, Bo Xilai was removed from his position as the chief of Chongqing amid allegations of corruption. He remains under house arrest in Chongqing.
A spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office released a statement Thursday saying they “are glad to see that the Chinese authorities are continuing with the investigation into the death of Neil Heywood.” “We are dedicated to seeking justice for him and his family and we will be following developments closely,” the spokesman added.
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