The trial of ex-Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun has implicated for the first time the city’s disgraced Party boss Bo Xilai in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Bo was not mentioned by name. Wang spoke of the “Chongqing committee’s main responsible person at the time”, but that would be Bo.
Wang was “angrily rebuked and had his ears boxed,” state media reported somewhat quaintly, for telling Bo that Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, was suspected of murdering Heywood, a crime to which Gu pleaded guilty at her trial last month. Wang also told the court of corruption cases involving close business associates of Bo.
Wang’s remarks brings a criminal prosecution of Bo a step closer, either for complicity in covering up Heywood’s death, or on politically more sensitive corruption charges. Either way a trial would complete the political downfall of a charismatic but divisive leader who only a few months ago had been seen as a leading candidate for promotion to the Politburo.