UK & World News
China Murder: Briton 'Planned To Expose Deals'
New reports have emerged claiming British businessman Neil Heywood was poisoned after threatening to expose the financial dealings of the wife of a top Communist Party leader.
Mr Heywood died in a hotel room in the southern city of Chongqing in November last year.
Chinese police said the cause of death was alcohol poisoning but then quickly cremated his body without performing an autopsy.
The British Government asked the Chinese to re-investigate the matter early this year after hearing of "suspicions and rumours surrounding his death".
As a result, China's state media last week announced that Mr Heywood had been murdered.
The chief suspect was named as Gu Kailai, the wife of the Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing, Bo Xilai.
Mr Bo, who was in the running to join the all-powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo later this year, has been sacked and is under investigation.
The affair is the biggest political scandal to rock China in decades.
But since Mr Heywood was known to be friends with Bo Xilai and his family, many have wondered about a motive for the alleged murder.
New reports from the Reuters news agency quote sources close to the police investigation.
They claim that Mr Heywood helped Gu move large sums of money overseas.
Mr Heywood asked for a bigger cut of one transaction, it is alleged, angering Gu.
It is claimed that Mr Heywood then threatened to expose her financial dealings.
The clear implication is that the money being transferred was ill-gotten.
Bo Xilai is thought to have earned an official salary of around £300 a month, while he once described Gu to reporters as a "housewife".
The family has long been dogged by allegations of corruption, which led Bo Xilai to publicly complain that people were "pouring filth" over him and his wife.
It is understood that Mr Heywood had previously helped the couple's son gain entry to Harrow and then Oxford.
The Reuters report also quotes sources close to the police investigation as saying that Mr Heywood was killed by a drink laced with poison.