BEIJING--Glamorous Gu Kailai, the wife of ousted Chongqing city boss Bo Xilai, has confessed to killing British businessman Neil Heywood, according to Chinese Communist Party sources.
Gu, who is being interrogated in a government-affiliated facility in the north of China, told investigators she killed Heywood to stop him revealing illegal remittances of billions of dollars abroad that he allegedly helped organize for her, the sources said.
She was under investigation for the illegal remittances when 41-year-old Heywood was discovered dead in a Chongqing hotel in November.
The city authorities, then under the effective control of Gu’s husband, Chongqing municipal Communist Party committee secretary Bo Xilai, initially attributed Heywood’s death to a drinking binge and quickly cremated his body.
But the Communist Party's central leadership set up a dedicated investigation team in February to re-investigate the case.
The sources, who have read an interim investigation report circulated among senior party officials, said Gu, 53, admitted to killing her former associate after feeling "driven into a corner" by the investigation into her financial dealings and had provided a specific explanation about how she killed Heywood.
The General Office of the Communist Party Central Committee, which serves as a secretariat for the party's General Secretary Hu Jintao--who is also China's president--drew up the interim report and the sources said officials have decided to indict Gu following her confession.
The authorities are also investigating whether Bo, 62, was aware of his wife's deeds, the sources said.
They have detained dozens of people associated with Bo--including his chauffeurs, close aides and secretaries from his time as mayor of Dalian, Liaoning province--and have also questioned hundreds of people who dealt with him, including corporate executives and entertainers.
They believe Gu was receiving undeclared income from the early 1990s and that she transferred $6 billion to accounts in the names of relatives and acquaintances in the United States, Britain and elsewhere to conceal her illegal earnings. Heywood is thought to have helped her open accounts and exchange currencies.
Gu has also begun admitting to allegations of bribe-taking and the cross-border remittances, according to the sources. They said she has told investigators she received cash from a number of companies on the back of her husband's power.
Cambodian police authorities arrested Patrick Devillers, a 52-year-old French architect who is said to have been close to Bo and Gu, in mid-June. Devillers is also suspected by the Chinese of involvement in Gu's illegal remittances.
China has asked Cambodia to extradite Devillers, but is facing a challenge from France, which is putting pressure on Phnom Penh to hand him over to French custody.
- « Prev
- Next »