Bo Xilai scandal: Key players
The death of British businessman Neil Heywood in the Chinese city of Chongqing in November 2011 has sparked the biggest shake-up to hit the Communist Party in decades and exposed high-level political divisions.
The case has led to the dismissal of Chongqing party boss and former high-flier Bo Xilai. His wife, Gu Kailai, has been convicted of killing Mr Heywood.
The BBC profiles the key players.
Bo Xilai, 63, was once a top politician tipped for the highest office.
Son of a famous communist hero, he ran the coastal city of Dalian and then became commerce minister before being named Communist Party chief of Chongqing.
He was known for launching two high-profile campaigns in Chongqing - one to promote China's communist past and the other to crack down on organised crime.
At home in front of the cameras, he was seen as both populist and charismatic. Many believed he was in the running for promotion in China's 10-yearly leadership transition.
But Mr Bo was expelled from the Communist Party to face prosecution 28 September.
He was removed as Chongqing party chief on 15 March and suspended from the Communist Party's hugely powerful 25-member politburo and Central Committee.
He has not been seen in public since the investigation into him and his wife was announced.
The death of 41-year-old British businessman Neil Heywood is at the heart of the scandal.
Born in 1970, Mr Heywood was educated at Harrow School and Warwick University.
He lived in China from the early 1990s, where he learned fluent Mandarin. He was a consultant to foreign businesses seeking investment in China, setting up several companies and advising clients.
Mr Heywood married a Chinese woman, Wang Lulu, and the couple had two children.
It was while living in the north-eastern port city of Dalian in the mid-1990s that he met the mayor, Bo Xilai, and his wife Gu Kailai. By 2007, Mr Bo had been appointed Communist Party chief of Chongqing.
The nature of Mr Heywood's association with Mr Bo and Ms Gu is not clear but he has been described in some reports as a financial middleman.
Mr Heywood was found dead on 15 November 2011 at a hotel in Chongqing.
Chongqing's Public Security Bureau told British consular officials the cause of death was "overconsumption of alcohol" and his body was then cremated, a decision taken by his family.
But the case was then reopened. Gu Kailai and her aide were convicted in August of poisoning him to death because of "economic conflict".
The second wife of Bo Xilai, Ms Gu is a well-known lawyer whose father was a prominent revolutionary.
Ms Gu studied at Peking University and then opened the Kailai law firm in Beijing. Fluent in English, she wrote a book about her legal battles called Winning a Lawsuit in the US.
She and her husband were once one of China's most powerful couples - until an announcement in April that she was being investigated for the murder of Neil Heywood.
Gu Kailai was tried on 9 August for the murder - a crime she committed, according to state media, because of a conflict over economic interests.
A court official said she did not contest the charges, blaming her actions - according to state media - on a "mental breakdown".
She reportedly said she would "accept and calmly face any sentence" for poisoning the British businessman with cyanide.
On 20 August she was convicted of Mr Heywood's murder and given a suspended death sentence.
Bo Guagua, 24, is the son of Bo Xilai and Gu Kailai.
He studied at one of Britain's most expensive private schools, Harrow, before going on to Oxford University and then Harvard.
He has been described as a younger member of China's "princelings" - the descendants of revolutionary leaders who are often criticised for the privileges they enjoy.
Photographs that appear to show him enjoying himself at parties have whizzed around internet sites, as has criticism of his perceived decadent lifestyle.
Chinese state media have also linked him to Neil Heywood, saying both he and his mother "were in good terms with Heywood. However, they had conflict over economic interests".
But Bo Guagua, who appears to have remained in the US after earning his masters degree at Harvard, denied living an extravagant lifestyle in an an open letter to the university newspaper.
"I am deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family, but I have no comments to make regarding the ongoing investigation," he wrote in April.
He issued a statement on 8 August, a day before his mother's trial, saying that the "facts will speak for themselves".
He reportedly gave a witness statement to Gu Kailai's defence team, but little is known of its contents.
Wang Lijun, 52, was a popular police chief and vice-mayor in Chongqing whose flight to the US consulate in Chengdu in February signalled the start of Mr Bo's downfall.
Mr Wang started his career in law enforcement in 1984 in the Inner Mongolia region before moving to Chongqing in 2008.
He developed a reputation for being tough on organised crime and was even the subject of a TV drama, Iron-Blooded Police Spirits.
On 2 February, the Chongqing city government said Mr Wang had been shifted to another job - the first public confirmation of his falling out with Mr Bo.
He fled to the US consulate in Chengdu, near Chongqing, on 6 February. He spent the night at the consulate but was persuaded to leave a day later. Many believe he went there to seek asylum.
According to a statement from the UK Foreign Office on 17 April, Mr Wang made allegations about Mr Heywood's death while at the consulate.
Announcing his dismissal from the party in April, Li Yuanchao, the head of the organisation department, called Wang Lijun's visit to the US consulate a "serious incident with very bad consequences".
On 5 September he was charged with defection, power abuse and bribe-taking. After a two-day trial, he was jailed on 24 September for 15 years.
Zhang Xiaojun was charged alongside Gu Kailai with intentional homicide.
Mr Zhang is said to be "an orderly at Bo's home" according to a Xinhua report on 18 April. When Xinhua announced the charges on 26 July, it said he poisoned Neil Heywood to death along with Gu Kailai.
He admitted his involvement in the murder during the trial, a court official said, and said he wanted to apologise to Mr Heywood's relatives.
French architect Patrick Henri Devillers, who has been living in Cambodia for the last five years, is reported to have links to Mr Bo and Ms Gu.
The 52-year-old is believed to met the couple in the 1990s, while he was living in Dalian with his then wife. Reports said he had helped to lay out street grids in the city while Mr Bo was mayor.
Earlier this year, China asked Cambodia to detain him. He then voluntarily flew to China on 17 July, reportedly as a witness in the Heywood case.
Before leaving for China Mr Devillers made a video, which appeared to be an interview with Cambodian officials, saying that he was doing so voluntarily.
Zhou Yongkang, 69, is a member of the politburo's nine-member Standing Committee, the most powerful committee in China.
He is also secretary of the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs, which gives him control over police and security forces.
Before becoming head of the Public Security Ministry in 2003, he was the party head in Sichuan Province.
While there, he gained a reputation for dealing firmly with dissent - coming down hard on Tibetan groups and the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong.
He is considered to have been Bo Xilai's mentor and to be close to former President Jiang Zemin, who is still powerful.
Earlier this year unverified rumours circulating on Chinese websites said Mr Zhou was under investigation and could be the next to go.
But a more recent report in the Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily, made a splash of Mr Zhou visiting the western Xinjiang region.
It was then announced that he would be representing the region at the Communist Party Congress due to happen by the end of the year in Beijing.
Wen Jiabao is China's premier. Both Mr Wen and President Hu Jintao are scheduled to move on following China's leadership reshuffle later this year.
Bo Xilai's dismissal has been interpreted by some as part of a political struggle between supporters of former president Jiang Zemin, and supporters of Mr Wen and Mr Hu, who are considered to be more open to reform.
Mr Wen indirectly criticised Bo Xilai at his last National People's Congress news conference in April.
Although he did not name Mr Bo directly, he said that local authorities must ''seriously'' reflect and learn from the Wang Lijun incident.
He also touched on China's Cultural Revolution, a chaotic 10-year period when normal life was turned on its head.
He warned that China could experience a similar period of instability without political reforms, and that "the mistakes of the Cultural Revolution… have yet to be fully eliminated".
This was seen as criticism of Bo Xilai's approach in Chongqing.
Mr Bo had enjoyed reminding people of the days of the Cultural Revolution, by sending volunteers into the countryside and giving rousing speeches about China's communist past - moves that gained him many left-wing supporters.