A court in China has handed down a suspended death sentence to the wife of disgraced politician Bo Xilai.
In a scandal that has rocked China’s political elite, Gu Kailai has escaped the death penalty as long as she does not commit offences in the next two years. She will probably serve the minimum of 14 years in prison.
At her trial, Gu admitted poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood last November.
The court granted her leniency as she claimed she had acted to protect her family after a business dispute between her and Heywood had allegedly led him to threaten her son.
An aid to the Bo household was also given a nine year jail term.
Gu’s sentencing could be the forerunner to formal punishment of her husband, Bo Xilai, a one- time leadership candidate. He’s being investigated for corruption and abuse of power but hasn’t been seen in public since March.
China: Gu Kailai given suspended death sentence for murder