Skip to main content

Bo Xilai's son confident 'facts will speak for themselves' in mother's murder trial

By Jason Kessler, CNN
August 8, 2012 -- Updated 0927 GMT (1727 HKT)
  • Gu Kailai is accused by Chinese authorities of killing a British businessman
  • Her son, Bo Guagua, sent a statement to his mother's defense team
  • Authorities say Gu's motive was her concern for Bo's personal safety
  • Bo Guagua's father, Bo Xilai, is a Chinese politician with scandal of his own

(CNN) -- The son of former Chinese Communist leader Bo Xilai told CNN on Tuesday that he has submitted a witness statement to the defense team for his mother, who will stand trial this week in the death of a British businessman.

"As I was cited as a motivating factor for the crimes accused of my mother, I have already submitted my witness statement," he wrote in an e-mail. "I hope that my mother will have the opportunity to review them."

Bo Guagua did not specify what he wrote in the witness statement.

Read more about the upcoming trial and its effect on China

Authorities have said that Bo Guagua and his mother, Gu Kailai, had disputes with Neil Heywood over "economic interests." They also claim that Gu and accomplice Zhang Xiaojun poisoned Heywood in November out of concern that he posed a threat to the younger Bo's personal security.

Murder charge for politician's wife
Bo Xilai's son responds
Bo Xilai insider goes public
Bo Xilai's wife arrested in Briton death

Who is Gu Kailai?

"I have faith that facts will speak for themselves," Bo Guagua said of the trial, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.

If convicted, Gu could face the death penalty, but a friend of her family has told CNN her life is expected to be spared if she is convicted.

Bo Guagua, 24, graduated from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in May. He previously attended Oxford, graduating in 2010.

He came under fierce scrutiny this spring as bare-chested photos of him at college balls led to accusations of a party-boy lifestyle, fueling a long-raging debate in China about whether Chinese Communist Party leaders exploit their positions to enrich their families.

In a letter to the Harvard Crimson in April, Bo Guagua denied he had ever driven a Ferrari to pick up a date and defended his academic record.

"I am deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family," he said at the time, adding that he had no comment on the investigation.

Media reports have suggested that Heywood was at one time a mentor to Bo Guagua, paving his entry into England's elite Harrow School, from which he graduated.

Heywood was found dead in his hotel room in the southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing, and authorities quickly blamed his death on excessive alcohol. His body was cremated without an autopsy.

Timeline: Bo Xilai scandal

On April 10, authorities made the surprise announcement that Gu was being investigated on suspicion of murder, along with Zhang, a family aide.

Bo Guagua's father, Bo Xilai, was seen to be a top contender for China's powerful Politburo Standing Committee before his career unraveled this spring after Heywood's death.

That same day in April, Bo Xilai was stripped of his seat on the Communist Party's Central Committee for an unspecified "serious breach of regulations."

Who is Bo Xilai?

CNN's Jaime FlorCruz and Steven Jiang contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Bo Xilai scandal
September 22, 2013 -- Updated 1950 GMT (0350 HKT)
Political science professor Yuhua Wang says he's surprised by the severity of the life sentence given to Chinese politician Bo Xilai.
September 23, 2013 -- Updated 0611 GMT (1411 HKT)
A charismatic politician, Bo Xilai is said to have made high-profile enemies after launching a crackdown on law and order in Chongqing.
September 23, 2013 -- Updated 0546 GMT (1346 HKT)
In a letter to his family, the disgraced Communist Party leader reiterated his innocence but said he expected a lengthy prison sentence.
August 28, 2013 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
CNN Beijing bureau chief Jaime Florcruz compares his experience covering Bo's trial with a similarly explosive story in the early 1980s -- the "Gang of Four" trial.
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
While Chinese state media hailed the Bo Xilai trial as a show of "historic transparency," analysts saw its theatrics as part of a high-profile show trial.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 0829 GMT (1629 HKT)
How did the story of one of China's powerhouse political couples descend into a veritable soap opera of sex, lies, murder, and corruption?
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
The trial of Bo Xilai concluded with claims from Bo that his former police chief had a crush on his wife, Gu Kailai, who is serving time for murder.
August 26, 2013 -- Updated 0634 GMT (1434 HKT)
Few political trials can boast the intoxicating mix of sex, murder and exotic meat but Bo Xilai's trial did just that.
August 19, 2013 -- Updated 0455 GMT (1255 HKT)
The wife of a high-profile Chinese politician found guilty of murder has been described as funny, personable, attractive and charismatic.
August 19, 2013 -- Updated 0455 GMT (1255 HKT)
The trigger of China's biggest political scandal in a generation, Wang Lijun was once a feared police chief whose crime fighting exploits inspired a TV series.
April 23, 2012 -- Updated 0322 GMT (1122 HKT)
A run-down hotel on the outskirts of Chongqing is the unlikely setting for a murder mystery. CNN's Stan Grant looks inside.