A Beijing court has commuted the suspended death sentence of Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai, to life in prison.
The court said Gu Kailai showed repentance and “did not commit any crimes” in jail.
Gu Kailai was sentenced in 2012 for murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.
Disgraced former Politburo member Bo Xilai was jailed for life in 2013 for corruption and abuse of power. The cases were China’s biggest political scandal in years.
“The aforementioned criminal has recently certainly shown repentance,” the court said, adding that Gu Kailai had practiced “thought, culture and technical study.”
The statement was dated December 11 but released only on December 14.
The document also said that Gu Kailai had “obeyed discipline”, and “completed labor tasks in a timely manner”. As a result she was “eligible for the legal conditions for a commutation”.
Correspondents say with good behavior suspended death sentences are usually commuted to life in prison in China.
Gu Kailai’s case was one among several public notices soliciting public objections to reduced sentences.
The other two were former electronics tycoon Huang Guangyu, who was convicted of bribery; and Liu Zhijun, former railways minister who was previously given a suspended death sentence for taking bribes and was partly blamed for a fatal bullet train crash in 2011.
Public consultation for Huang Guangyu closes on December 15.
The notices for both Gu Kailai and Liu Zhijun were published on the Supreme People’s Court website last month, but were only reported by local media on December 14, several weeks after the end of the consultation period.
The cases were reported shortly after the trial opened of one of China’s leading human rights lawyers, Pu Zhiqiang, in Beijing. That trial attracted considerable international attention, particularly after plainclothes security officials aggressively manhandled journalists, diplomats and protesters gathered outside the court.
Gu Kailai’s case sparked the series of events which brought down her high-flying husband.
Bo Xilai was removed as Communist Party boss of the important metropolis of Chongqing in south-western China, and from the Politburo, which makes key party decisions, in 2012.
During his trial, Bo Xilai claimed that Gu Kailai – who testified against him – had gone insane.
In rural areas, families were allowed to have two children if the first was a girl.
Other exceptions included ethnic minorities and – since 2013 – couples where at least one was a single child.
Campaigners say the policy led to forced abortions, female infanticide, and the under-reporting of female births.
The decision to allow families to have two children was designed “to improve the balanced development of population” and to deal with an aging population, according to the statement from the Community Party’s Central Committee carried by the official Xinhua News Agency on October 29.
Currently about 30% of China’s population is over the age of 50.
Correspondents say that despite the relaxation of the rules, many couples may opt to only have one child, as one-child families have become the social norm.
The announcement comes on the final day of a summit of the Chinese Communist Party’s policy-making Central Committee, known as the fifth plenum.
The Chinese Communist Party is also set to announce growth targets and its next five year plan.
China’s top military official, General Xu Caihou, has been accused of accepting bribes and expelled from the Communist Party, state media report.
Gen. Xu Caihou was once a member of China’s elite decision-making body, the Politburo. He will now be handed over to prosecutors for a court martial.
Xu Caihou is believed to have been held under house arrest for several months.
Analysts say this could be the biggest military scandal China has seen for many years.
General Xu Caihou has been accused of accepting bribes and expelled from China’s Communist Party
Xinhua agency reported that China’s President Xi Jinping had presided over a Politburo meeting about military discipline and approved the decision to expel Gen. Xu Caihou and hand him over to military prosecutors.
Rumors about the investigation into Gen. Xu Caihou had circulated for months. Many believed poor health – he is reported to have been treated for cancer – would save him from prosecution.
However, this move is being presented in state media as part of the government’s battle against corruption.
Two other high profile figures were also expelled from the Communist Party for corruption on Monday – Jiang Jiemin, the former head of the state asset regulator, and Wang Yongchun, the deputy head of the state energy giant China National Petroleum Company (CNPC).
The spate of expulsions comes at a time when speculation is rife about the fate of one of China’s most powerful politicians, former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who is allegedly being investigated over allegations of corruption and abuse of power.
Tens of thousands of officials have been arrested since President Xi Jinping began an anti-corruption campaign in 2012.
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