Dead Briton 'kept secret file on purged party boss'
Shortly before his death, British businessman Neil Heywood told a friend that he had left documents on the financial affairs of purged Communist Party member Bo Xilai with a lawyer in the UK as an "insurance policy" should anything happen to him, it emerged yesterday.
Mr Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, is "strongly suspected" of murdering Mr Heywood in Chongqing in November and is in police custody. Mr Bo, who had been a favourite to join China's ruling Standing Committee of the Politburo before his recent fall from grace, is being investigated for serious disciplinary violations.
Mr Bo's dismissal from the Party's powerful Central Committee and its Politburo has caused the biggest political upset in decades in China, months before a crucial, once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
Mr Heywood had told his friend he was "in trouble" after being called to Chongqing for a meeting with representatives of Mr Bo's family, the Wall Street Journal reported. It was not clear whether the documents the friend referred to had been found. The friend also said Mr Heywood was unable to reach any of his usual contacts after arriving in Chongqing. Hours later, he was dead. An initial police report blamed the death on alcohol poisoning. British officials say local authorities cremated the body without an autopsy. Mr Heywood's family said they were told he had died from a heart attack.
The Chinese government has since said it suspects Mr Heywood was murdered by Mr Bo's wife and her family orderly. State-run media have been urging the Communist Party to back Mr Bo's dismissal. President Hu Jintao and other party bosses have attempted to quell further fights within the leadership as senior party members jostle to gain advantage from Mr Bo's expulsion.
The forced departure of Mr Bo has been likened to previous purges in the Communist Party, such as the removal of Shanghai Party boss Chen Liangyu in 2007 and the mysterious plane crash in 1971 which killed Lin Biao, amid rumours he was planning a coup to depose Mao Zedong.
- 1 Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
- 5 Watch Richard Dawkins read his own hatemail: 'I hope you do get sodomised by satanic monkeys in hell'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...