Now That Trial's Over, Details of High-Profile Murder in China Come Out

An odd story of alleged kidnapping and blackmail.


Now that the murder trial of Gu Kailai has ended, far more detailed accounts have emerged from inside the courtroom of the case that prosecutors built against Ms. Gu, the wife of one of China's most ambitious leaders. The accounts show her plotting with allies, including the local police chief, to protect her son from what she saw as the blackmail demands of the British business associate she is believed to have killed.

Prosecutors presented evidence that the Briton, Neil Heywood, had demanded tens of millions of dollars from Ms. Gu's son, locked him up in a residence in England and sent an e-mail threatening to "destroy" him. In response, Ms. Gu sought help from the local police chief, who refused to go along with her plan to get rid of Mr. Heywood and later secretly recorded her confession after she poisoned Mr. Heywood.