China police guilty of Heywood murder cover-up: official
Four Chinese police officers have been found guilty of covering up the killing of a British businessman to protect the wife of a senior politician charged with his murder, an official said today.world Updated: Aug 20, 2012 12:11 IST
Four Chinese police officers have been found guilty of covering up the killing of a British businessman to protect the wife of a senior politician charged with his murder, an official said Monday.
The men were accused of trying to protect the spouse of Bo Xilai, who was one of China's most senior leaders until his downfall earlier this year in a political scandal that has shaken the ruling Communist party.
All four were senior police officials in Chongqing, the southwestern Chinese megacity that Bo ran until he was sacked in March, and where British businessman Neil Heywood's body was discovered in a hotel room last November.
Tang Yigan, an official with the Hefei Intermediate Court in eastern China where the four men were tried earlier this month, said they were sentenced to between five and 11 years in jail for their roles in covering up the murder.
The four, named as Guo Weiguo, Li Yang, Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi, had been charged with trying to conceal Gu Kailai's involvement in Heywood's death by "forging interview scripts and hiding evidence".
It is not clear whether Bo knew about the alleged cover-up, although the hearing was being closely watched for any hints on the likely fate of the charismatic and ambitious former leader.