UK

Neil Heywood murder: Cameron welcomes Chinese inquiry

  • 11 April 2012
  • From the section UK
Neil Heywood
Image caption Businessman and father-of-two Neil Heywood had lived in China for about 10 years

PM David Cameron has welcomed an investigation by China into the murder of UK businessman Neil Heywood, who was found dead in the country in November.

Speaking in Indonesia, he said it was very important to get to the truth in this "disturbing" and "tragic" case.

Gu Kailai, the wife of dismissed senior Communist Party official Bo Xilai, has been detained for "intentional homicide" over Mr Heywood's death.

The 41 year old was found dead in a hotel room in Chongqing, central China.

At a press conference in Indonesia on trade, Mr Cameron said: "We did ask the Chinese to hold an investigation and we are pleased that they are now doing that.

"It is very important we get to the truth of what happened in this very disturbing case, this very tragic case."

'Economic issues'

On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "The Chinese are doing as we asked them to do and we now look forward to seeing those investigations take place and in due course hearing the outcome of those investigations."

Mr Bo's removal from key party posts was announced late on Tuesday and followed weeks of speculation over his fate.

Image caption Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai are both under investigation

The 62-year-old was once tipped as a future leader, and the scandal has shocked China.

Police had initially said Mr Heywood died from excessive drinking.

The police allegations led to a second investigation and state news agency Xinhua claimed Gu Kailai and her son were in "conflict" with Mr Heywood over "economic issues".

The exact nature of Mr Heywood's role and his relations with the family remain unclear.

The father-of-two had lived in China for about 10 years and was fluent in Mandarin. It is understood his mother lives in London.

Wang Feng of the Brookings-Tsinghua Centre for Public Policy described the scandal as "almost unprecedented in China's political history".

"For the last 30 years this is the biggest scandal we can think of," he told the BBC.

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