Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Communist Party leader Bo Xilai, has been handed a suspended death sentenced for her role in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
The Intermediate People's Court in the eastern city of Hefei issued the sentence after Gu reportedly confessed Aug. 9 to poisoning Heywood after a business deal went bad.
The suspension means the death penalty will probably be commuted to life imprisonment if Gu commits no offenses in the next two years, according to the Australian Associated Press.
A family employee who assisted in the murder received a nine-year sentence, while four policemen accused of covering up the crime were sentenced to between five and 11 years in jail.
Questions remain over the fate of Gu's husband, a rising star in the Communist Party who was removed as the party’s chief in the major city of Chongqing for unspecified violations.
Bo had been expected to get a seat on the nine-person Standing Committee of the Politburo, according to iTV News.
Meanwhile, iTV News cited a court official as saying that Gu had been suffering from “mental disorders.”
The court heard that she had lured Heywood — her business partner at the time — to a hotel in Chongqing last November, then got him drunk and poisoned him with cyanide.
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