The Bogu Kailai Case：Underwritten by Privilege
All this happened in Chongqing, where a campaign against the local mafia was touted as a major achievement in governance. It also happened in China, a country in which the constitution upholds the rule of law. What Bogu and her associates have proved is that they were the strongest criminal gang.
At the trial, Bogu tried to emphasize that the motivation behind her crime was to protect her son. But these aren't exculpatory circumstances, nor is there enough evidence to prove her claim.
If the dispute between Bogu and Heywood was economic in nature, they could have used economic channels or a civil lawsuit to resolve it. The fact that Heywood was willing to meet Bogu by himself and drink tea and liquor with her, indicates that Heywood was not on the verge of murdering her son. The dispute had not reached that level. It is obvious that her argument does not add up. In fact, last November as the case was unfolding, Bogu's son was in the United States studying at Harvard University.
The facts about the disagreement between Bogu and Heywood are hard to come by, but what is known does not excuse her for her crime. The story spun about a mother sacrificing herself for her own can hardly deceive anyone.
The court proceedings report also raised other suspicions. First it states, "Bogu Kailai, formerly known as Gu Kailai, has a Beijing residential registration card." The addition of her husband's surname has many wondering what her true citizenship is. Secondly, according to the report, "Heywood disagreed with Bo Guagua about the amount of his payment and threatened to harm him." The large amounts of money involved bring up the question of corruption. Third, five police officials are suspected of involvement in the case, however, they will be "dealt with separately." Who are the others involved? Is Bo among them? An editorial in People's Daily on April 11 stated that "no one should be allowed to interfere with the implementation of justice," which lends itself to a variety of interpretations.
China is a socialist country under the rule of law, whose "unity, dignity and authority must be protected," President Hu Jintao said in a speech on July 23. No one is special in the eyes of the law. No criminal is beyond the authority of the law. Even though her power and position were great, Bogu is no exception.
Within three months of the announcement of the murder case, the Ministry of Public Security began collecting clues and building an investigation that reexamined the facts. Once Bogu was implicated, Zhang, an orderly in the family's home, was quickly arrested. During the trial on August 10, the indictment read that their acts had violated Article 232 of the People's Republic of China Criminal Law Code. It says that Bogu is the criminal, and Zhang is the accomplice. Whether the defense is still offering arguments to refute these claims doesn't seem likely. The public awaits the court's decision.
These developments might as well serve as a concluding chapter to the murder case, one which offers a starting point to examine recent events that could shape China's history.
The author is the editor-in-chief of Caixin Media.
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