China: politician's wife 'admits' UK businessman murder

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China: politician's wife 'admits' UK businessman murder

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Chinese state media say the wife of a once-top politician has admitted murdering a British businessman, and blames a mental breakdown for the killing.

The report by the Xinhua agency of her one-day trial described how Gu Kailai and an aide poisoned Neil Heywood with a cyanide compound.

The account said she was taking drugs for depression when she turned on Heywood, a family friend. She had decided he was a threat to her son, who he had helped with schooling in England.

Four Chinese policemen have reportedly admitted trying to protect Gu from suspicion over the murder. In February a police chief took refuge in a US consulate alleging a cover-up; this is the first official confirmation that there was.

The news looks set to further damage Gu’s husband, Bo Xilai.

Once a rising member of the Politburo who cast himself as a leftist alternative to China’s rulers, he has now been ousted from public life.