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Brit murdered by Bo Xilai's wife could be MI6 agent

world Updated: Nov 07, 2012 01:44 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

British national Neil Heywood murdered by disgraced Communist politician Bo Xilai’s wife not only drove around a silver jaguar with the license plate “007”, he was probably working for his country’s secret service, MI6, a new report said Tuesday.

Wall Street Journal giving a twist to the already sensational saga of sex, sleaze and corruption said Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, had told a top official Chongqing where her husband was mayor that she had “I killed a spy.”

“…He had been knowingly providing information about the Bo family to Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, for more than a year when he was murdered in China last November,” the WSJ report said.

“The Journal investigation, based on interviews with current and former British officials and close friends of the murdered Briton, found that a person Mr. Heywood met in 2009 later acknowledged being an MI6 officer to him. Mr. Heywood subsequently met that person regularly in China and continued to provide information on Mr. Bo's private affairs,” the report said.

Chinese authorities didn’t directly comment on the story. “The Chinese judicial authorities had already made a ruling on the case of manslaughter by Gu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun. Bo Xilai case will be handled in accordance with party discipline and national law,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters at the regular press conference on Tuesday.

The fresh revelations, ahead of the November 8 once-in-a-decade leadership Congress of the ruling Communist Party and trial of Bo, could add more serious charges like compromising with state secrets against the ousted leader.

Also, and as pointed out by WSJ, Heywood being an informer could have implications for Chinese authorities; a British secret service informer close to the family of the 25-member Politburo means a major security breach for the secretive Party.

Bo who was in the running for a post in the Standing Committee of the Party Politburo is now awaiting trial for covering up the murder of sex, sleaze and corruption.

Heywood, 41, had lived in China from the early 1990s, where he learned fluent Mandarin and also a representative of the car company, and the car driven by fictional British spy, James Bond, Aston Martin.

Gu's involvement in the Heywood murder came to light police chief of Chongqing, Wang Lijun fled to the US consulate in February, reportedly after falling out with Bo over the Heywood case. Chinese officials subsequently ordered that an investigation into Heywood's death be reopened; British authorities had also put in a request to reopen the case.

Police had originally said he died of over-consumption of alcohol and his body was cremated without an autopsy. Five senior police officers in Chongqing were jailed for covering up the case.