Politician's wife 'killed Briton to keep her financial affairs secret'
The British businessman Neil Heywood, whose death has sparked political upheaval in China, was poisoned after he threatened to expose a plan by a leading politician's wife to move money abroad, it was claimed yesterday.
The allegations, which follow an investigation by Reuters, give for the first time a specific motive for Mr Heywood's murder last November, a death that ended Chinese leader Bo Xilai's hopes of emerging as a top central leader and threw the Communist Party's looming leadership succession off balance .
The two sources for the investigation have close ties to Chinese police and said they were given details of the circumstances into the 41-year-old Mr Heywood's death. Mr Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, asked Mr Heywood late last year to move a large sum of money abroad, and she became outraged when he demanded a larger cut than she had expected due to the size of the transaction, the sources said.
She accused him of being greedy and hatched a plan to kill him after he said he could expose her dealings, one source said, summarising the police case. Both sources have spoken to investigators in Chongqing, the south-western Chinese city where Mr Heywood was killed and where Mr Bo had cast himself as a crime-fighting Communist Party leader.
Ms Gu is in custody on suspicion of committing or arranging the murder, though no details of the motive or the crime have been publicly released, other than a general comment from Chinese state media that he was killed after a financial dispute. They said Mr Heywood – who was formerly a close friend of Ms Gu and and had been helping her with her overseas financial dealings – was killed after he threatened to expose what she was doing.
"Heywood told her that if she thought he was being too greedy, then he didn't need to become involved and wouldn't take a penny of the money, but he also said he could expose it," one source said. The sources said police suspect Mr Heywood was poisoned by a drink. They did not know precisely where he died in Chongqing. David Cameron will raise Mr Heywood's death at a meeting in Downing Street today with a senior official from the Chinese Communist Party.
The talks with politburo member Li Changchun were set up to discuss trade, educational and cultural links between the two countries. But Downing Street yesterday confirmed Mr Cameron planned to ask him about the businessman's mysterious death. A spokeswoman said: "I think he will echo what the Foreign Secretary has said, that we welcome the investigation that is ongoing and we look forward to seeing the outcome of that."
Mr Li is the first senior Chinese official to visit the UK since it was reported that Gu Kailai had been arrested on suspicion of murder. The Foreign Office has been under pressure over its response.
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 4 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Susan Sarandon on David Bowie romance: 'He's worth idolising'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...