Beijing (Reuters) - China will try Gu Kailai, the wife of ousted Politburo member Bo Xilai, on charges of murdering a British man, state media said on Thursday in the latest turn in a scandal that has rocked the government in Beijing and could bring Gu the death penalty.
The contentious dismissal of Bo has already shaken the Communist Party's looming once-in-a-decade succession, and now Gu and family aide Zhang Xiaojun will be prosecuted for allegedly poisoning businessman Neil Heywood last year over "conflict of economic interests", the official Xinhua news agency said.
"The facts of the two defendants' crime are clear, and the evidence is irrefutable and substantial," said the Xinhua report summarizing the indictment. "Therefore, the two defendants should be charged with intentional homicide."
Gu and Zhang will face trial in Hefei, a city in eastern China, far from Chongqing, the sprawling municipality in the southwest where Bo made his political base and where Heywood died in a hillside hotel in November.
Bo has not been named as a suspect in the murder case, but he is separately under investigation by party authorities and could also face trial at a later time.