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Wife of China official quizzed over death

04:14 Wed Apr 11 2012

Chinese police have reopened an investigation into the death of a British man after finding evidence Bo Xilai's wife may have been involved in his murder, state media says.

Bo Kailai, wife of the disgraced former senior Chinese leader, has been "transferred to judicial authorities on suspected crime of intentional homicide" of Neil Heywood, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Bo Xilai was one of China's most high-profile politicians and a rising star in the ruling Communist Party until he was sacked last month as party chief in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing.

On Tuesday, Xinhua said he had also been suspended from the Communist Party's hugely powerful 25-member politburo due to suspected "serious discipline violations."

His downfall came after his former police chief, Wang Lijun, went to a US consulate in southern China, where Xinhua said he made allegations about the death of Heywood, a British businessman and associate of Bo.

"Police authorities paid high attention to the case, and set up the team to reinvestigate the case according to law with an attitude to seek truth from facts," Xinhua said.

"According to investigation results, Bogu Kailai, wife of Comrade Bo Xilai, and their son were in good terms with Heywood. However, they had conflict over economic interests, which had been intensified.

"According to reinvestigation results, the existing evidence indicated that Heywood died of homicide, of which Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun, an orderly at Bo's home, are highly suspected."

Those who break China's laws will be "handled in accordance with the law," the Xinhua report said.