China Detains Official's Wife as Murder Suspect

Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, arrested in death of Neil Heywood
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 10, 2012 3:31 PM CDT
This photo taken on March 14, 2012, shows former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The plot thickens in the downfall of a former top official in China: Bo Xilai's wife has been detained as a suspect in the death of a British executive. China has now suspended Bo from its leadership, dropping him from the Central Committee and Politburo; last month, he was ousted as party chief in Chongqing. The latest suspension amounts to the end of his political career, Reuters notes. Xinhua state news agency blames him for "serious disciplinary violations."

Both Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, and an assistant in his home, one Zhang Xiaojun, are "highly suspected" of murdering Neil Heywood last November, Xinhua noted. Gu and Heywood were feuding over "economic interests," the report said. The controversy over Bo has divided China's government; the news "appears to represent the top leadership finally reaching an agreement that it must be seen to hang together in the run-up to the leadership succession" in the coming months, says an expert.

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