Beijing: China`s ruling Communist Party
suspended a high-profile politician from his remaining
leadership positions on Tuesday and named his wife as a suspect in
the murder of a British businessman.
Announcements carried by state media said Bo Xilai has
been suspended from the party`s 25-member Politburo on
suspicion of involvement in "serious discipline violations."
Bo`s wife Gu Kailai is being investigated for intentional
homicide of a British citizen, Neil Heywood, who died in
November in Chongqing, the Xinhua News Agency said.
Gu and an orderly at Bo`s home have been turned over to
judicial authorities, it said.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the
"We now look forward to seeing those investigations take
place and hearing the outcome of those investigations," Hague
"I don`t want to prejudice their conduct in any way."
A flamboyant and telegenic politician with a populist
flair, Bo is the most senior Chinese leader to be suspended
from the Politburo since Shanghai`s party chief was removed
for corruption six years ago.
The announcements provide details on what has been a
lurid, divisive and embarrassing scandal for the leadership,
bringing political infighting out of the usually closed
confines of elite party politics and into public view.
While the brief announcement about Bo did not elaborate on
what rules he is suspected of violated, the charge is broad
enough to cover everything from corruption to the mishandling
of internal party affairs.
Bo was the party chief of the inland mega-city of
Chongqing and until recently considered a contender for the
highest echelons of the leadership when new members are
installed later this year.
He gained notoriety for a crackdown on organized crime
and a campaign to revive Mao Zedong-era communist songs and
stories. The excesses of the campaigns, however, also earned
Bo critics who accused him of violating civil liberties
in busting gangs of dredging up memories of the chaotic
Cultural Revolution associated with Mao`s radical politics.
Bo`s career began publicly unraveling in February after a
once trusted aide left Chongqing and fled temporarily to the
US consulate in another city, apparently to seek asylum and
in violation of party rules.
A month later, Bo was dismissed from his Chongqing post
The Xinhua report said that while in the US Consulate,
the aide, Wang Lijun, alleged that the British citizen, Neil
Heywood, who died last November had been murdered.