Bo Xilai’s Wife ‘Was in the Room When Neil Heywood Was Poisoned’
Wang Lijun, the former chief of police in Chongqing, told US officials that Gu Kailai had confessed that she was responsible for the killing with the words: “I did it.”
Mr Wang gave his account of her alleged confession to diplomats at the US consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu in February.
He had fled Chongqing, apparently in fear for his life, after telling Gu’s husband Bo Xilai, the city’s Communist Party secretary, that his wife may have been involved in Mr Heywood’s death.
He spent nearly 30 hours inside the consulate, during which he gave American diplomats his account of what happened to the Old Harrovian.
Wang gave a virtually identical report to the Chinese authorities after he left and these accounts have been given in official circles within and outside China.
According to Mr Wang, Mr Heywood, a fixer with decades of experience in China and a family friend of Mr Bo and his wife, was held down in a hotel room in Chongqing and forced to drink cyanide. Subsequently, Mrs Gu allegedly confessed to the crime. “Gu said ‘I did it’ three times to Wang,” a diplomatic source with knowledge of Wang’s account said. “It was a gruesome scene, Heywood spat the cyanide out and they had to give him more.”
In recent weeks, a series of allegations about the alleged crime have begun circulating freely, an odd phenomenon in a country as closed and censored as China, prompting speculation that the Communist Party was trying to smear Mr Bo and his wife ahead of the announcement of the findings of an investigation.
Mr Heywood, Mrs Gu and her son, Bo Guagua, are said to have had a close relationship until a quarrel over an “economic” matter, according to the Chinese government. At the time of his death, Mr Heywood was thought to be raising money for an £80 million shopping centre dedicated to British luxury goods.
Mr Heywood is said by some friends to have expressed nervousness before his trip to Chongqing last November, others said he seemed perfectly cheerful.
His relationship with the Bo family stretched back for over a decade.