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China Honcho Ordered Brit's Murder Via Cyanide

Flood of new details suggests Communist Party encouraging reports
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2012 1:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – The British businessman who died mysteriously in China last November was actually poisoned with cyanide at the orders of disgraced politico Bo Xilai, reports the Daily Mail. Neil Heywood was killed because he was having an affair with Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, and because he helped her sneak $1.26 billion out of the country, risking drawing the attention of anti-corruption investigators. A Chongqing city official has confessed to preparing the poison and giving it to a Bo employee, who somehow administered it to Heywood while he was staying at a hotel in the city.

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Most of those details broke on the US-based Mandarin website Boxun.com two days ago. But in an unusual turn, Chinese authorities allowed that information to be picked up by Chinese microbloggers and media outlets, suggesting that the government was encouraging those reports—or even planting them. On Tuesday, Gu was detained as a suspect in Heywood's death and Bo suspended, but analysts think the flood of anti-Bo details being made public now suggest he could be arrested soon, too. (Read more Neil Heywood stories.)

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