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Published: Friday, 7/27/2012

Ex-politician's wife faces murder charge


BEIJING -- Gu Kailai, the wife of deposed Chinese Politburo official Bo Xilai, and one of her household aides have been charged with "intentional homicide" in the case of British businessman Neil Heywood, the official Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.

The Xinhua dispatch said Ms. Gu and the aide, Zhang Xiaojun, were charged after prosecutors interrogated them and spoke to their defense team.

The two were arrested on suspicion of murder last spring, triggering what has become China's most dramatic political upheaval in more than two decades.

Xinhua, quoting unnamed investigators, alleged that the two poisoned Mr. Heywood after Ms. Gu and Mr. Heywood had a business conflict and that Ms. Gu believed Mr. Heywood was threatening her son.

There was no mention by Xinhua of the fate of Mr. Bo, who once seemed destined for a promotion to the powerful Politburo Standing Committee.

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