A Chinese court has found Gu Kailai guilty of the murder of British business consultant Paul Heywood, who died after being poisoned in November 2011, and has handed her a suspended death sentence.
The FT reports that Ms Gu had been widely expected to receive a suspended death sentence, after the court said she had confessed to the murder during her trial on August 9 and both prosecutors and the defence argued she had taken the step to protect her son from Mr Heywood.
Reuters reporter in Beijing, Lucy Hornby says that, “for those unfamiliar with courts with Chinese characteristics: ‘death with reprive’ is usually commuted to life sentence.”
Bo Xilai, Mrs. Gu’s husband, has not been seen in public since the beginning of the trial and public debate will now focus on what the courts – which are not open to media other than the Chinese state agency – will decide to do with him.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that four police officers charged with trying to cover up Heywood’s mudder have received 5-11 year jail sentences.