Gu Kailai faces trial over death of Neil Heywood in scandal that shook Chinese
The most lurid tale of money, passion and power in contemporary China reached
a turning point yesterday when the Xinhua news agency reported that Gu Kailai,
property tycoon, high-flying lawyer and wife of a disgraced politician, would
stand trial for the murder of Neil Heywood, a British businessman.
The body of Mr Heywood, 41, who was married to a Chinese woman and had lived
in China for many years, was found on 14 November last year in a villa at the
three-star Narshan Lijing Holiday Hotel near the city of Chongqing, where Gu's
husband Bo Xilai held power. The Chinese authorities told his family he had
suffered a heart attack; British consular authorities were told he had died from alcoholic poisoning. His body was cremated the next day,
without an autopsy.
Then on 6 February, Wang Lijun, the deputy chief of police of Chongqing,
drove at speed to the city of Chengdu, 170 miles away, burst into the American
consulate and demanded asylum, claiming that his life was in danger.
he revealed that he suspected Gu of involvement in the murder of Mr Heywood.
When he had told Mr Bo of his suspicions, the latter flew into a rage, provoking
Mr Wang's flight.