A few days ago, I posted about the death of Neil Heywood, a British ex-pat in China. The Daily Mail is now reporting more details about his death:
A British businessman found dead in a Chinese hotel was murdered on the orders of a fallen Communist Party chief, according to new reports.
The extraordinary accounts – published on respected Mandarin-language websites yesterday – claimed to expose a sex-and-money scandal behind China's biggest political crisis in a generation.
The websites described how Old Harrovian Neil Heywood, 41, died from cyanide poisoning after allegedly having an affair with lawyer Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, seen until recently as a future leader of China.
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It was alleged yesterday that Mr Heywood was murdered after helping Mrs Gu to siphon nearly £800million of assets overseas.
He was poisoned last November in a hotel room in the mega-city of Chongqing by a henchman of city party leader Mr Bo, using a lethal dose of potassium cyanide – a poison that kills within minutes in tiny doses, according to the claims.
A single teaspoon of potassium cyanide is 50 times the fatal dose and shuts down body cells, rendering victims unconscious in ten to 20 seconds and dead within minutes, leaving the appearance of death by cardiac arrest.
A city official has allegedly confessed that he prepared the poison and handed it to an employee of Mr Bo, who administered it to Mr Heywood on the party chief's instructions, according to the accounts.
It is not known how the poison was given to Mr Heywood – who is understood to have lain dead for up to 36 hours before being discovered by a hotel cleaner – but a tiny drop put into a drink would have been enough to kill him.
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Police chief Wang Lijun, who later turned whistleblower and fled to a US consulate seeking asylum, allegedly ordered his officers to record Mr Heywood's death as a heart attack. Bo had those officers who refused to do so imprisoned and tortured, according to the blog accounts.
In the latest twist, it now appears that Bo's playboy son Bo Guagua may be seeking asylum in the US. According to reports, he has left his Boston home with a police escort after a group of Chinese men were seen watching his flat.
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Mr Bo's former police chief Wang Lijun is said to have secretly videoed Bo with some of his lovers when his philandering continued in Chongqing, and to have compiled a dossier of evidence against him that he handed over to the US consulate in Chengdu in February.
The account described Mr Bo as being 'drunk with power and in thrall to his own personality cult, regarding himself as behind only the first Chinese emperor Qin Shihuang and Mao Zedong as the greatest man in Chinese history'.
It alleges that Mr Bo and his wife Gu had been involved in the murder of a number of other people in Dalian and Chongqing, and claimed Mr Bo had received the equivalent of nearly £100million in bribes during his time in Chongqing alone.