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Heywood Suspect Blames Killing On 'Breakdown'
The Chinese woman accused of killing British businessman Neil Heywood says she will "accept any sentence" after blaming her mental breakdown for his death.
Gu Kailai, the wife of ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai, has said she was behind the tragedy, according to the state news agency Xinhau.
"During those days last November, I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy," she was quoted as saying.
"The tragedy which was created by me was not only extended to Neil, but also to several families. I solemnly tell the court that in order to maintain the dignity of the law, I will accept and calmly face any sentence and I also expect a fair and just court decision."
Four Chinese police officers have admitted to trying to cover up the murder of the businessman, a court official has said.
Tang Yigan told reporters in the eastern city of Hefei that the four officers hid evidence of Gu Kailai's involvement in the murder of Mr Heywood.
Mr Tang did not say why the officers had sought to cover up the murder and made no mention of Mr Bo.
The four policemen went on trial in Hefei on Friday, accused of being involved in the cover-up of Mr Heywood's death.
They include the former deputy head of police in the city of Chongqing, where Mr Heywood was found dead last November.
The policemen have been drawn into a widening legal web which follows the charges against Mrs Gu, the wife of the former Communist Party chief of Chongqing, who has also appeared at the People's Court in Hefei.
Hefei is 800 miles from Chongqing - a mega-city of 33 million people in the centre of China.
It used to be run by Mrs Gu's husband Bo Xilai - who had been tipped to become one of the top10 most powerful politicians in China.
He was fired from his top job within the party after the head of the police in Chongqing, Wang Lijun, went to the US Consulate in neighbouring Chengdu claiming he had new information about the death of Mr Heywood in February of this year.
That spurred a case which had previously been treated as death from natural causes.
But the top policeman's flight to Chengdu and the information he gave the Americans has ultimately led to this latest court appearance by his former colleagues.
The whereabouts now of Mr Wang is unclear, but it is thought he is being held by the authorities and is being investigated for charges of treason after attempting to seek asylum at the US consulate.
The verdicts in both cases will be announced at a later date.
Both have been dealt with in Hefei officially because Hefei police were brought in by the state to investigate the Chongqing police after the new evidence in the case came to light.
There were reports that, after Mr Wang fled to Chengdu, Bo Xilai sent some of his officers to try and get Mr Wang back - operating outside the jurisdiction of the Chongqing police.
Hefei is in the province of Anhui. Anhui police were called in to investigate the conduct of the police in Chongqing after the allegations of murder and a cover-up came to light.