Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, has reportedly confessed to murdering British businessman Neil Heywood, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported Friday.
Quoting unnamed sources from the Chinese Communist Party, Asahi reported that Gu told investigators she had killed Heywood to stop him from revealing that he had helped her organize illegal money transfers worth billions of dollars.
Gu, who was accused in Heywood's murder in April, is currently being interrogated in a government-affiliated facility in northern China, according to Asahi Shimbun. She was detained because she was "highly suspected" of killing Heywood, the Daily Mail reported.
The British citizen was found dead in a Chongqing hotel in November.
City authorities (who were under the effective control of Gu’s husband at the time) originally attributed Heywood’s death to a drinking binge and cremated his body, Asahi reported.
Communist party officials, who dismissed Xilai in the wake of the scandal, have now “decided to indict Gu following her confession," Asahi reported. They are also launching an investigation into whether or not her husband Bo was aware of his wife’s actions at the time.
Officials have detained Xilai's chauffeurs, close aides, and secretaries from his time as mayor of Dalian, Liaoning province, according to Asahi.
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Chinese legal system experts have said that it would be rare for someone of Gu Kailai's stature not to be tried after being publicly named as a suspect, according to the Daily Mail.
Communist Party officials began reinvestigating Heywood's death after Wang Lijun, a former ally of Bo's and police chief, fled to the US consulate in Chengdu, the Guardian reported. Lijun reportedly told officials that Xilai "turned on him" after he said he suspected Gu in Heywood's murder.
The reported confession comes just days after Cambodian police said China had requested the extradition of Patrick Devillers, a French architect who was close to both Gu and Bo. On Friday, Cambodia's foreign minister announced that Devillers would not be extradited and would stay in custody pending further investigation, according to the Guardian.
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