Trial details of Bogu Kailai case released

Print E-mail Xinhua, August 11, 2012
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Key points of the case

As the court investigation proceeded and the debate thoroughly unfolded, key details of the murder allegedly committed by the two defendants began to surface, based on the testimonies of Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun during the investigation and throughout the trial as well as evidence presented in court.

-- Murder motive

Bogu Kailai said in her testimony that "it was in about 2005 when my son was studying in Britain that Neil Heywood wrote us a letter of self-introduction, showing his intent to get to know us."

Bogu Kailai testified that after she and her son, surnamed Bo, became acquainted with Heywood, she introduced him to serve as a proxy to a company and participate in the planning of a land project, which never got started. Heywood later got into a dispute with Bogu Kailai and her son over payment and other issues, and he threatened her son's personal safety.

In court, prosecutors presented emails exchanged between Heywood and Bo, showing how the dispute between the two had escalated.

According to the evidence prosecutors brought to court, after Bogu Kailai learned of the escalation of their dispute, she believed Heywood had threatened the personal safety of her son and decided to kill Heywood.

"To me, that was more than a threat. It was real action that was taking place. I must fight to my death to stop the craziness of Neil Heywood," according to Bogu Kailai's testimony that prosecutors presented in court.

The defense counsels for Bogu Kailai presented their opinions on the criminal motive, while prosecutors presented a series of evidence to prove Bogu Kailai's criminal motive.

-- Criminal process

Prosecutors presented Zhang Xiaojun's testimony as follows: On Nov. 12, 2011, Bogu Kailai asked me to contact Neil Heywood, saying that she wants to meet him and I shall pick him up and bring him to Chongqing. She instructed me repeatedly that I should accompany Heywood to Chongqing. I called Heywood and told him that Bogu Kailai wanted to meet him in Chongqing. Heywood replied that he also wished to see her, but had to check his schedule. Within half an hour, Heywood called me back, telling me he would be available the next day and asking me to book a flight for him.

As shown by documentary evidence that includes the flight tickets and hotel registration form, on Nov. 13, 2011, Zhang escorted Neil Heywood from Beijing to Chongqing. Heywood checked in to Room No. 1605 of the 16th building of the Lucky Holiday Hotel in Nan'an District of Chongqing Municipality, as arranged by Zhang.

According to the testimonies of Bogu Kailai and Zhang, which were presented to the court by prosecutors, that evening, Bogu Kailai had prepared two bottles -- a glass bottle of poison that contained cyanide compound and another medicine bottle of capsulated drugs. Bogu Kailai gave the glass bottle to Zhang.

At around 9 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2011, Bogu Kailai and Zhang visited Heywood's hotel, bringing along the two bottles, as well as wine and tea. After entering Heywood's hotel room, Bogu Kailai drank wine and tea with him while Zhang waited outside. Later, Heywood became drunk and fell in the hotel bathroom, and then Bogu Kailai called Zhang into the hotel room and took the glass bottle of cyanide compound that Zhang was carrying.

Zhang said in his testimony that he put Heywood on the hotel bed. After Heywood vomited and asked for water, Bogu Kailai put the bottle of cyanide compound she had prepared into Heywood's mouth. Then she scattered the capsulated drugs on the hotel floor, making it seem as though Heywood had taken the drugs.

According to what Zhang recalled in his testimony, Bogu Kailai poured cyanide compound into a small soy sauce container that she had prepared beforehand, mixed it with water and walked to the left side of the bed. She dripped the toxic mixture into Heywood's mouth as she was talking to him.

Bogu Kailai and Zhang visited Heywood's room on the night of the crime, as video footage presented to the court by the prosecutors showed. According to the physical evidence inspection report submitted by China's Ministry of Public Security, DNA samples from Bogu Kailai and Zhang were found on bottle caps and cup lids at the crime scene.

Bogu Kailai told hotel waiters to leave the guest alone in Room No. 1605, after hanging the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door when she left, according to the testimony of a hotel waiter.

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