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Rule of law in China the silent victim at Bo Xilai wife's trial

Published on Aug 1, 2012 5:43 PM
Combination photograph (left-right) shows Bo Xilai as Chinese Minister of Commerce during a meeting in Beijing in June 4, 2005; British businessman Neil Heywood at an Aston Martin dealership in Beijing on May 26, 2010; and Gu Kailai, wife of Bo at a mourning for her father-in-law Bo Yibo, former vice-chairman of the Central Advisory Commission of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing on Jan 17, 2007.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Gu Kailai, the wife of deposed Chinese leader Bo Xilai and a career lawyer, faces possible execution for murder at the hands of a swift, unblinking justice system that she once championed.

Gu, who practised commercial law and once wrote a book about her experiences of both the Chinese and United States (US) legal systems, will be at the centre of highly politicised trial this month in which rule of law is unlikely to attract more than token attention.

Legal experts and activists expect her to receive the kind of rapid guilty verdict handed down in almost all Chinese criminal trials - the kind Gu once compared favourably to US legal practice where she felt the guilty risked going free on legal technicalities.

'As long as it is known that you, John Doe, killed someone, you will be arrested, tried and shot to death,' Gu wrote of Chinese criminal justice in her 1998 book.

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