Chinese police focus on murder suspect's finances


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The Independent Online

Police investigating the murder of a British businessman in China will this week focus their efforts on the finances of the senior Chinese politician suspected of ordering the killing, following a series of sensational allegations.

The mystery surrounding the death of Neil Heywood, who was found dead in a hotel in Chongqing on 15 November last year, has become more intriguing after reports suggested he was having an affair with the wife of Bo Xilai, a politician once tipped to lead China.

Allegations emerged at the weekend that Mr Heywood was poisoned with cyanide following the affair with Gu Kailai, whom the 41-year-old businessman was said to have helped to siphon £800m of assets overseas. A Chinese city official has also allegedly confessed that he prepared the poison and handed it to an employee of Mr Bo, who administered it to Mr Heywood on the party chief's instructions.

Ms Gu is being investigated for "intentional homicide". A well-placed source said President Hu Jintao wants prosecutors to come up with evidence of Ms Gu's guilt and for proof of wider corruption regarding the couple.

Chinese police told Mr Heywood's family that "excessive alcohol" caused his death, but the case was reopened after Mr Heywood's friends raised concerns.