China: Xilai’s wife Kailai charged with murder of UK businessman

In more trouble for Gu Kailai, the wife of the disgraced political leader Bo Xilai, has been charged with the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Updated: Jul 26, 2012, 20:16 PM IST

Beijing: Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai`s wife and a helper working in their home have been charged with poisoning a British businessman to death, a case that triggered the downfall of the ruling CPC`s powerful leader and rocked the country`s politics.

Bo`s wife Bogu Kailai and the couple`s domestic help Zhang Xiaojun were "recently" charged by the Hefei Municipal Procuratorate in eastern Anhui province with intentional homicide over the murder of British citizen Neil Heywood, a official news agency reported today.

The municipal prosecuting body had filed the charges with the Hefei Municipal Intermediate People`s Court.

Bogu and her son, surnamed Bo, had conflicts with Heywood over economic interests, according to investigators.

They claimed that Bogu, fearing about her son`s safety, poisoned Heywood to death with the help of Zhang.

The Hefei Intermediate People`s Court has received the case and will hold a trial on a day to be decided, the agency said.

Heywood was found dead in a hotel in Chongqing on 15 November, 2011. His death triggered Bo`s downfall in a scandal that has rocked Chinese politics.

Local officials initially said Heywood died of excessive drinking, but the government announced in April it was probing Bo`s wife in connection with the case.

Bo, the former top leader of the southwestern Chongqing city, was sacked in March and is under investigation for allegedly flouting the Communist Party of China`s (CPC`s) rules. He had been widely expected to be promoted during China`s once-in-a-decade leadership change later this year.

His downfall was triggered when his police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to the US consulate, reportedly to seek asylum after a row with Bo over Heywood`s death probe.