It appears that the trial, which lasted eight hours, was a sham and Ms. Gu was made a scapegoat in a broader political power struggle between her husband and top leaders like Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao.
During the trial, Ms. Gu confessed to murdering her British business partner, Neil Heywood; she said she was willing to “accept and calmly face sentencing” and that she expected the court to give her a “fair and just verdict.”
Given the complexities of the case and the tremendous amount of media attention, one would have assumed that the Chinese government would take the case seriously or at least attempt to honor due process. Unfortunately, the trial was conducted hastily and shabbily, exposing the ugliness of the Chinese legal system. One can only imagine the fate of the thousands of faceless or nameless Chinese who are being judged by the legal system without any media attention.
Ms. Gu’s verdict will be decided by party leaders in Beijing, rather than judges in court. Rushing to justify the ousting of Mr. Bo, who was a strong contender for a spot on the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, helps leaders in Beijing clear a major hurdle before the leadership transition at the 18th Party Congress later this year. Therefore, the Chinese government will most likely give Ms. Gu a harsh sentence. But the fundamental legal questions have not even been asked, let alone answered.
This month, Golden Networking’s China Happy Hour (http://www.ChinaHappyHour.com) will invite a number of journalists who have followed the trial, conviction and suspended death sentence of Gu Kailai, the wife of purged Chinese leader Bo Xilai, in close detail, for the panel “The Gu Kailai Trial” moderated by its founder Edgar Perez. There will be time afterwards for Q&A and the best China networking in New York City.
China Happy Hour will be held Tuesday August 28th, 6PM; these receptions have been known to attract executives and professionals not only from China but also from South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and India, among other nationalities.
China Happy Hour New York City, featured in The New York Times, is produced by Golden Networking, the premier networking community for business executives, entrepreneurs and investors. Panelists, speakers and sponsors are invited to contact Golden Networking by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.