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China web users say Gu Kailai sentence too light

Published on Aug 20, 2012 7:01 PM
Gu Kailai (centre), wife of ousted Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Bo Xilai, looks at the verdict handed to her during a trial in the court room at Hefei Intermediate People's Court in this still image taken from video Aug 20, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese web users posted angry reactions to Gu Kailai's suspended death sentence on Monday, with many saying she was given special treatment as the wife of a former political leader.

More than a million posts on Gu could be seen on Sina Weibo - a microblog similar to Twitter, which is banned in China - after she was found guilty of murder but spared immediate execution on Monday.

"Bigwig gets death sentence with reprieve for murder, while common people get immediate execution. Where's the justice?" posted one user of Sina Weibo, China's most popular microblog. "If a well-planned murder doesn't deserve a death penalty, then what other criminal deserves immediate execution?" demanded another of the court's decision to give Gu a suspended sentence with a two-year reprieve.

The large number of posts suggested China's censors had relaxed restrictions that had been in place since the wife of former leader Bo Xilai was first placed under investigation in April for killing a British businessman.

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