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LA Times: China Prepares for Trial in Sensational Case of Neil Heywood Slaying

August 6, 2012

Excerpted from Barbara Demick's article in the Los Angeles Times, "China Prepares for Trial in Sensational Case of Neil Heywood Slaying":

"This case is a hot potato for Hu and Wen," said Gao Wenqian, senior policy advisor at New York-based Human Rights in China. "If they handle it too leniently, they risk a resurgence of Bo Xilai supporters in the leftist faction, but if they are too harsh, they risk a backlash."

Gao said he expects the trial to stick closely to the slaying and to gloss over the allegations that Bo's family was sending millions of dollars of ill-gotten political gains overseas through Heywood.

"They don't want to focus on overseas assets, because all Chinese leaders do the same and Bo Xilai's family wouldn't be the worst when it comes to corruption," Gao said. [...]

"The authorities might feel they need to cut her some slack, but not [Zhang Xiaojun, the Bo's butler]. Zhang will be the scapegoat," predicted Gao, of Human Rights in China.