China recommends life term for wife of disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai

Police cars parked in front of the Beijing High Court on Nov 26, 2015.
Police cars parked in front of the Beijing High Court on Nov 26, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A Beijing court has recommended that a suspended death sentence for the wife of disgraced former Politburo member Bo Xilai be commuted to life in jail due to acts of repentance and no further criminal activity, Chinese media said on Monday (Dec 14).

Gu Kailai was sentenced in 2012 for murdering British businessman Neil Heywood the previous year, which kicked off China's most sensational political scandal in years.

A suspended death sentence is normally commuted to life in jail.

The Beijing High Court is now making a formal recommendation for that, said state radio, which carried the court statement on its website.

"The aforementioned criminal has recently certainly shown repentance," the court said.

Gu had respected the rules, not offended again, and had been engaged in "thought, culture and technical study", it added, without elaborating.

Reuters was not able to immediately reach the court or any family members for comment.

Bo was ousted as Communist Party boss of the south-western metropolis of Chongqing and from the party's decision-making Politburo in 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for corruption and abuse of power.