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Bo Xilai's wife admits to killing British businessman

Sacked Communist party leader Bo Xilai's wife has confessed to killing British businessman Neil Heywood to prevent him from revealing her murky business deals, a Japanese newspaper claimed on Friday. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.

world Updated: Jun 22, 2012 23:41 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Sacked Communist party leader Bo Xilai's wife has confessed to killing British businessman Neil Heywood to prevent him from revealing her murky business deals, a Japanese newspaper claimed on Friday.

Quoting anonymous sources from the Communist Party of China (CPC), Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, claimed Gu told investigating officers that she killed Heywood "to stop him revealing illegal remittances of billions of dollars abroad that he allegedly helped organize for her."

Gu was arrested by the police earlier as she was "highly suspected" in the murder of Heywood. Her arrest came weeks after Bo was sacked as the CPC chief of the city of Chongqing.

Initially, Heywood was said to have died of alcohol poisoning in November; his body was cremated without an autopsy.

"The sources, who have read an interim investigation report circulated among senior party officials, said Gu, 53, admitted to killing her former associate after feeling "driven into a corner" by the investigation into her financial dealings and had provided a specific explanation about how she killed Heywood," the Japanese newspaper said in the Beijing datelined story on Friday.

It added that investigating officers have detained dozens of people associated with Bo--including his chauffeurs, close aides and secretaries from his time as mayor of Dalian, Liaoning province - and have also questioned hundreds of people who dealt with him, including corporate executives and entertainers.

"They (officials) believe Gu was receiving undeclared income from the early 1990s and that she transferred $6 billion to accounts in the names of relatives and acquaintances in the United States, Britain and elsewhere to conceal her illegal earnings. Heywood is thought to have helped her open accounts and exchange currencies," the newspaper said.

Gu has also begun admitting to allegations of bribe-taking and the cross-border remittances, according to the sources. They said she has told investigators she received cash from a number of companies on the back of her husband's power.

In another development, Cambodia has said it would not extradite Patrick Henri Devillers, a French architect, apparently also of Gu's inner circle, arrested recently in Phnom Penh.