SCMP says in its report “World’s press descend on intentionally quiet Hefei”: As according to Xinhua’s brief report late last month, Gu poisoned Neil Heywood for fear that the Briton posed a threat to the safety of her son, Bo Guagua. Bo Guagua “told CNN on Tuesday that he had submitted a witness statement to his mother’s defence team.
“‘As I was cited as a motivating factor for the crimes my mother is accused of, I have submitted my witness statement. I hope that my mother will have the opportunity to review it,’ CNN quoted an e-mail by Bo Guagua as saying. ‘I have faith that facts will speak for themselves.’”
SCMP says, “More than 100 domestic and overseas journalists from major news organisations have arrived in the provincial capital for the trial of Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai who has been charged with murdering Briton Neil Heywood.
“The Hefei Intermediate People’s Court, where the trial will take place, has been quietly guarded by dozens of plain-clothes police, another indication of the sensitivity of the case. Some could be seen sitting in the shade of trees outside the multi-storey courthouse, while others stayed inside vehicles parked outside the building, videotaping anyone that appeared suspicious.
“People trying to enter the courthouse were subjected to full-body checks and had to register their personal details.
“Local police visited most of the city’s hotels to check guests’ identities, although no reason for the inspection was given.
“The high-profile trial, which is widely considered as a quick solution to China’s worst political crisis in recent years, appears to be open only to selected state media such as Xinhua and CCTV. A courthouse duty officer confirmed that only those with special permits would be allowed inside.
“However, as a gesture of transparency, two British diplomats have been granted rare permission to attend the hearing.
“Also, an official with the provincial publicity department said it had set up a media team and assigned a spokesman to deal with foreign reporters covering the case.
“‘The team will brief reporters outside the courthouse once the hearing is finished today,’ he said.”
SCMP.com – World’s press descend on intentionally quiet Hefei