After months of silence from top Communist Party officials, Chinese state-run media announced that Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai, has been indicted for the murder last November of British businessman and family fixer, Neil Heywood.Notes the Wall Street Journal:
The announcement suggests the Communist Party leadership has reached a consensus on how to handle the murder case at the core of China’s worst political crisis since 1989’s Tiananmen Square crackdown, according to diplomats and analysts.It was the first official update on the case since the government announced in April that Ms. Gu was in custody on suspicion of murdering Mr. Heywood, and that Mr. Bo had been suspended from all his Party posts.
No decision appears to have been made on the punishment Ms. Gu is likely to receive if she is found guilty (and given the highly political nature of the case, as well as China’s 98 percent conviction rate, the smart money is on a guilty verdict). Nor has there been any word on the fate of Bo himself.At this point it’s all rumor and speculation. Some say that Bo may escape severe punishment; everything will be blamed on the evil dragon lady. Others argue that Bo represents such a threat to the status quo that he cannot be spared. Given Bo’s charisma and talents, his opponents will be wary of setting him free; some may feel that they cannot sleep soundly while he lives.The one thing we do know is that if either Bo or his wife get actual justice, that will be purely coincidence. Whatever the facts of the case, this is a political matter, and justice is not the point.