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Chinese netizens, media question Gu Kailai's 'just' verdict

2012/08/20 22:07:23

Taipei, Aug. 20 (CNA) Many Chinese netizens questioned the suspended death sentence given to the wife of former Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai for murdering a British businessman after it was announced on Monday.

According to the ruling, Gu Kailai's death penalty will be commuted to life imprisonment if she behaves well in jail over the next two years, a ruling that Gu described as being "just."

Some Internet users disagreed, criticizing the punishment for Gu's alleged premeditated poisoning of Neil Heywood in November 2011.

"It is clearly unfair for Bo Gu Kailai to be given a commuted death penalty. She could easily go free once she asks for medical parole after two years," said a user identified as "Anhui Chenglin."

User "Qumingxue" even asked directly, "Why does Gu Kailai not give her life for killing someone?"

As for the "psychological impairment" the court said she was suffering from at the time of the murder, another user wondered, "Is it Bo Gu Kailai who has mental problems? Or is it the Chinese legal system that does?"

"Isn't this still protection in disguise?" asked another netizen.

Some Chinese journalists said the verdict ended up as "a joke" because "someone with a mental impairment said it is just. Can you believe that?"

They also were surprised that the verdict was first unveiled by foreign and Hong Kong media.

"The higher-ups that control the pens must have had some problems," said one unnamed journalist.

(By Rita Cheng and Kendra Lin)