The wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai will be tried for the murder of a British businessman on August 9, a lawyer for the family said.
State media said last week that Gu Kailai, a former international lawyer, had been charged with intentional homicide in the death of Briton Neil Heywood and would face trial in the eastern city of Hefei.
On Friday the family’s lawyer Shen Zhigeng told AFP by telephone that the trial would take place on August 9. No one at the court could be reached for comment.
China’s official news agency Xinhua said last week there was “irrefutable and substantial” evidence that Gu and Zhang Xiaojun, who worked for the Bo family, had poisoned Heywood.
Heywood was found dead in a hotel room in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing in November and his death was initially blamed on excessive alcohol consumption.
Investigation results showed that Gu had clashed with Heywood over “economic interests” and he had threatened her son, according to Xinhua.
If convicted, she faces the death penalty, although this is often commuted in high-profile cases.
Bo was the Communist Party leader for Chongqing and one of China’s most prominent political leaders until his downfall earlier this year, which sent shockwaves through China.
Bo Xilai was caught up in prostitution scandal with Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang. Ziyi Zhang has since filed a libel suit against Hong Kong’s leading newspaper the Apple Daily and its sister weekly Next Magazine for publishing those claims.