Excerpted from Frank Langfitt's report on NPR's All Things Considered, "Murder Trial of Chinese Politician's Wife Set to Start":
The accused is Gu Kailai, the wife of the fallen Communist Party leader Bo Xilai. The government says she poisoned a British businessman and family confidant named Neil Heywood last November. The case involves much more than murder, though — it's complicated by privilege, allegations of public corruption, and palace intrigue.
Gao Wenqian, a former Communist Party historian and now a senior policy adviser with Human Rights in China, sums it up this way: "Obviously this case is completely different than a common criminal homicide case. This is basically a political case."