Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Will Always Be Haunted by Cyanide Murder of British Lover

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I Will Always Be Haunted by Cyanide Murder of British Lover

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Harper

THE woman convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood said today that she took full responsibility for a case that rocked China's ruling Communist party, adding: "I will never feel at ease."

Gu Kailai, 53, was given a suspended death sentence after she confessed to poisoning Mr Heywood, her business partner and reported to be her lover, in a hilltop hotel in the city of Chongqing last November.

The wife of senior Communist Party official Bo Xilai escaped the death penalty after she claimed Mr Heywood had threatened her son following the collapse of a business deal. At the end of her two-week trial, Gu said: "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. 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 party and the country, for which I ought to shoulder the responsibility, and I will never feel at ease." The death of Mr Heywood, 41, who allegedly helped Gu siphon away [pounds sterling]800 million of state assets to offshore accounts, has caused political uproar in China.

Bo, a former mayor of Chongqing who was once tipped for a place on the Politburo that runs China, remains under house arrest and faces a Communist Party investigation for "serious disciplinary breaches". He may face criminal charges if he is found guilty of trying to cover up the murder to protect his wife. Dubbed the "Jackie Kennedy of China", Gu confessed to poisoning Mr Heywood with a cyanidelaced drink. She said he had demanded a bigger slice of the profits and allegedly threatened her son, Bo Guagua, whom he once mentored and helped get a place at his old school Harrow. …

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