Gu confesses killing Briton, 4 police officials admit cover-up



Gu confesses killing Briton, 4 police officials admit cover-up Beijing: Gu Kailai, the wife of ousted Chinese leader Bo Xilai, has confessed in writing about her involvement in the murder of a British businessman, while four police officers admitted covering up the crime, state media reported on Friday.

In her "final statement" to the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, Gu said she "accepted all the facts written in the indictment".

"This case has been like a huge stone weighing on me for more than half a year. What a nightmare. During those days last November, I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy," state-run Xinhua news agency reported tonight quoting her "final statement".

There was no mention in her statement why she feared for the life of her son Bo Guagua and the reason for administering poison to British businessman and family friend, Neil Heywood.

Bo Guagua, who is currently studying in US, earlier did his schooling in Britain.

According to the report, Gu opted to kill Heywood and she and her son Bo Guagua had conflicts with the British businessman over "economic interests".

"Worrying about Heywood's threat to her son's personal security, Gu Kailai decided to murder Heywood," it said.

In her statement which could seal her fate, Gu said "the tragedy which was created by me was not only extended to Neil, but also to several families."

"The case has produced great losses to the (Communist) Party and the country, for which I ought to shoulder the responsibility, and I will never feel at ease. I am grateful to the humanitarian care shown to me by those who handled the case. I solemnly tell the court that in order to maintain the dignity of the law, I will accept and calmly face any sentence and I also expect a fair and just court decision," she said.

Her verbatim confession was published today even as four top police officials of the Chongqing city admitted to the court today that they covered up the murder to protect the Gu.

According to the evidence submitted to the court, Gu along with several officials covered up Gu's presence at the scene by fabricating interview records, hiding material evidence and other measures, the report said.

"Gu and other individuals decided through consultations to list the cause of Heywood's death as sudden death after drinking alcohol, and did not put it on file as a criminal case.

They also persuaded Heywood's family members to accept their conclusion of the cause of death and cremated the body in Chongqing without performing an autopsy," the report said.

The case came to light only after Wang Lijun, the police chief close to Bo entered the US Consulate General in Chengdu "without authorisation the Ministry of Public Security paid great attention to his report that Bogu Kailai was suspected of murdering Heywood".

Wang took shelter in US mission fearing reprisals from Bo as he investigated the case.

"After that the the ministry set up a team to reinvestigate the case in accordance with Chinese law, and found that Heywood had been the victim of homicide," it said.

Gu's orderly Zhang Xiaojun who was charged with bringing Heywood from Bejing and arranged the poison which was subsequently administered to him by Gu when the Briton was drunk said in his final statement that he confessed his guilt, and would say "sorry" to the relatives of the victim.

"I hope the court can give me a chance to take a new lease on life. I really know that I did wrong," he said in his written confession.

Though the name of Bo was not mentioned anywhere in the court, the case affectively sealed his fate.

Bo, regarded as a hardline Maoist leader, was aspiring to contest to a top post in this year's leadership in China.

The Party Congress due to be held in November this year was expected to select new set of leaders to replace President Hu Jintao and the rest who ruled the country for 10 years.

PTI