5 Aug 2012

Date set for murder trial

1:45 pm on 5 August 2012

Gu Kailai, wife of the disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, will go on trial next week for the murder of a British businessman.

Neil Heywood was found dead in a hotel in Chongqing on 15 November last year. The trial will begin on 9 August.

The killing triggered Mr Bo's downfall in a scandal that has rocked Chinese politics.

Prosecutors announced last week that Ms Gu and a domestic employee had been charged with intentional homicide.

Officials initially said Mr Heywood died of excessive drinking, but the government announced in April it was investigating Mr Bo's wife in connection with the case.

Mr Bo, 60, the former high-flying leader of the south-western city of Chongqing, was sacked in March and is under investigation for flouting Communist Party rules.