Gu Kailai told Bo's top cop about murder
Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun knew about Gu Kailai's murder of Neil Heywood and once even plotted with her to frame the British businessman, a court was told on Thursday.
More details of the case involving the wife of disgraced Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai emerged yesterday via observers' accounts and a late night Xinhua report.
Two observers at the hearing confirmed that prosecutors highlighted Wang's role.
'[Gu] told Wang about her murder plan hours before the act and told him what had happened the next day,' a close associate of the defendants, who was at the hearing, cited prosecutors as telling the court.
Gu, the 53-year-old daughter of a Communist Party elder, stood trial for intentional homicide together with family aide Zhang Xiaojun in the Intermediate People's Court in Hefei , Anhui , on Thursday.
Not only was Wang notified of the plan, he put more police near the Chongqing hotel on November 13 as Gu mixed a rat poison containing cyanide with water and poured it into Heywood's mouth after he became drunk on whisky, the associate quoted the prosecution as saying.
Citing prosecutors, Xinhua said Gu and Zhang scattered drugs in the hotel room to create the impression Heywood died of a drug overdose.
The prosecutors said Gu had colluded with Wang, her husband's most trusted aide before they fell out, to set up Heywood on a drug trafficking charge after Gu came to believe he was threatening the safety of her son, Bo Guagua , the associate said. But Wang wouldn't go ahead with the plan and Gu decided on her own to murder Heywood.
The associate's account matched a hearing summary posted online by Anhui-based writer Zhao Xiangcha, who was present as an observer. He confirmed yesterday that he wrote the posting, which was later deleted.
Since no pens or paper were allowed in court, both observer accounts were based on their recollections.
Zhao said the court heard Wang recorded a conversation with Gu the day after the murder and handed it to investigators as evidence. Wang fled to the US consulate in Chengdu in February and was later taken to Beijing by state security officials.
The court was told Gu and Heywood had 'economic disputes' after plans for two construction projects, in France and Chongqing, collapsed. Xu Ming, chairman of the Dalian Shide Group, was involved in the projects. Heywood demanded ?4 million (HK$170 million), one tenth of the revenue he expected to have pocketed if the projects continued, from Bo Guagua, who was in Britain at the time.
Heywood later sent Bo Guagua an e-mail saying he would be 'destroyed' if he did not pay. A British official suggested the intended threat was to Bo Guagua's reputation, not his physical well-being as Gu indicated to investigators she believed was the case.
Gu told the court she was 'emotionally broken down' at the time of the killing, and apologised for the crime. But Shanghai-based psychiatrists appointed by the prosecutors found that while Gu had a history of treatment for insomnia and depression, she had her full mental faculties when she carried out the crime, the court heard.