The mother of murdered British businessman Neil Heywood whose death triggered the fall of rising Chinese political star Bo Xilai last year has issued a statement for the first time since the incident occurred.
In a statement sent to the Wall Street Journal, Ann Heywood has urged Chinese authorities for “substantive” and “practical” help.
Heywood’s murder, which was initially termed accidental death, in November 2011 triggered a series of events that led to the expulsion of Bo from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and his being jailed.
Bo, who has not been seen in public for more than a year, is awaiting trial after authorities last month indicted for corruption and abuse of power; the trial date is yet to be announced.
Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai is serving a jail sentence after, according to the official version, she admitted to murdering Neil Heywood following a business dispute.
It was the biggest political scandal to have rocked the Communist Party of China (CPC) in decades.
On Sunday, Ann Heywood wrote that she had kept quiet so long as to not embarrass the Chinese government.
But now she was getting increasingly concerned about her son’s children who are not only emotionally vulnerable but are also exposed to an uncertain financial future as their father was the only sole earner in the family.
“While struggling to come to terms with my own grief, my overriding concern has been for the security and well-being of Neil's two children. Now aged just 8 and 12, they are particularly vulnerable to the hurt and horror of their father's murder and, since Neil was the family's sole breadwinner, to uncertainty and insecurity, there being no financial provision for their future,” Ann Heywood wrote in the statement.
“Given the circumstances of Neil's murder, I have been surprised and disappointed that, despite repeated discreet approaches to the Chinese authorities, there has been no substantive or practical response,” she wrote.
“I hope and trust that the leaders of this great nation, which Neil loved and respected, will now show decisiveness and compassion, so as to mitigate the consequences of a terrible crime and to enable my family finally to achieve some kind of closure to our ongoing nightmare,” she added.