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Bogu Kailai sentenced to death with reprieve for intentional homicide

08-20-2012 16:24 BJT

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A Chinese court sentenced Bogu Kailai to death with a two-year reprieve for intentional homicide on Monday. She was deprived of political rights for life. The verdict was announced by the Hefei City Intermediate People’s Court in east China’s Anhui Province. Zhang Xiaojun, an accessory in the case, was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Chief Judge Hu Quanming announced the sentencing at 9 am Beijing time Monday morning. He announced the verdict after confirming the identities of the defendants. Hefei City’s Intermediate People’s Court had already reviewed Bogu’s case. In the second half of 2011, the defendant Bogu Kailai and her son had a conflict with the victim Neil Heywood due to economic interests.

Neil Heywood threatened the son of Bogu Kailai via e-mail. Bogu Kailai was worried that Neil Heywood was a threat to her son’s personal safety and thus decided to murder him.

She asked the other defendant - Zhang Xiaojun, to invite and accompany Heywood to Chongqing Municipality in southwest China. Zhang Xiaojun was then an employee of the general office of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and family assistant.

On Nov. 13, 2011, Heywood checked into Room No. 1605 of the 16th building of a vacation resort called the Lucky Holiday Hotel in Chongqing. That evening, Bogu Kailai and Zhang visited Heywood’s hotel, bringing along the poison containing cyanide compound which Bogu Kailai had prepared beforehand.

After entering Heywood’s hotel room, Bogu Kailai drank wine and tea with him while Zhang waited outside. Later, Heywood became drunk and fell in the hotel bathroom, and then Bogu Kailai called Zhang into the hotel room and took from Zhang the poison he had brought.

Zhang helped Heywood to the hotel bed. After Heywood vomited and asked for water, Bogu Kailai poured the poison into his mouth, which caused his death. The forensic lab under the Ministry of Public Security confirmed through toxicology tests that the reason for the death of Heywood accords with cyanide poisoning.

The Hefei city Intermediate People’s Court believes the act of murdering other people with poisoning drugs constitutes intentional homicide. It says the crime committed by Bogu Kailai was severe and the result is serious and she acted as the principal in the murder and should be sentenced to death.

The victim Neil Heywood verbally threatened Bogu Kailai’s son, which exacerbated the conflict between the two sides. Judiciary examination shows that Bogu Kailai was fully aware of her criminal responsibility.

But the investigation also showed that her mental state at that time was impaired. Bogu Kailai had complete recognition of the severity and the consequences of her actions. Her ability to control herself at that time was weak. After being arrested, she provided relevant departments with important information regarding legal violations done by others.

The information played an important role in investigating those cases. Bogu Kailai confessed to her crime and expressed regret over her wrongdoings in court. In light of these admissions, the court sentenced her to death, with a two-year suspension.

Her accomplice, Zhang Xiaojun acted on Bogu Kailai’s order. He was an accessory to the crime. After he was arrested, Zhang confessed his wrongdoings, and also expressed regret over what he had done. Taking into consideration both the plaintiffs and the defendants’ views, the Hefei City Intermediate People’s Court announced the final verdict.

Hu Quanming, chief judge of Hefei Intermediate People’s Court, said, "Hefei Intermediate People’s Court in east China’s Anhui Province handed Bogu Kailai the death penalty for intentional homicide with a two-year reprieve and deprivation of political rights for life on Monday. Zhang Xiaojun, Bogu Kailai’s assistant, was sentenced to a 9-year fixed-term imprisonment."

Following this, the chief Judge asked the defendants whether they would appeal to higher court, both Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun waived their right to appeal and accepted the verdict.

Bogu Kailai, defendant, said, "I think the sentence is just. It has shown that the court is especially respectful of law, truth, and life."

The court then delivered the final verdict to the defendants and their defenders, prosecutors, and legal agent.

More than 100 people attended the sentencing including relatives and friends of the two defendants, diplomats from the British embassy and consulates in China, representatives from the media, deputies to China’s legislature, members of China’s political advisory body, as well as people from all walks of life. Legal representatives of the family of Neil Heywood, the victim in the case, were also at present.

At 9:20 a.m. Beijing time, the chief Judge announced the closure of the court. The court also issued the final verdict on the former deputy chief of Chongqing’s Public Security Bureau, Guo Weiguo, and former chief of the bureau’s criminal section, Li Yang, former chief of the bureau’s technical detection team and also former chief of the Public Security Sub-bureau of Chongqing’s Yubei District, Wang Pengfei, and the former executive deputy chief of the Public Security Sub-bureau of the municipality’s Shapingba District, Wang Zhi.

During the verdict, the court determined that defendants Guo Weiguo, Li Yang, Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi had faked, concealed, and destroyed evidence to prevent Bogu Kailai from prosecution. Their actions came as they were aware that Bogu Kailai was highly suspected of having committed crimes. Relatives of the victim were also encouraged to eschew autopsy.

The court determined that they had broken the law for personal gain. The court added that the behaviours of Guo Weiguo and the other three members attempted to hide Bogu Kailai’s murder of Neil Heywood, and brought extreme harm to society. This made the crimes particularly serious.

Guo Weiguo was the prime culprit, while Li Yang, Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi were accessories. Li Yang’s crime was more serious than the other two accessories. Following their arrest, all four defendants confessed to the main facts of their crimes. Guo Weiguo and Li Yang later pleaded guilty in court - and showed repentance. Li Yang was found not to have destroyed critical evidence when requested by Guo Weiguo. This was important for investigating the case of the murder of the British businessman.

It was also found that Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi didn’t destroy evidence as requested by Guo Weiguo, as well. This move was found to be, to only some extent, helpful in the investigation. According to the nature of their crimes, and the harm they brought to society, the court decided to sentence Guo Weiguo to 11 years in prison, Li Yang to 7 years, and Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi to five years in prison. All four defendants have said they would not appeal.



Editor:Zhang Dan |Source:

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