A top Chinese official has been suspended from his duties as his wife is identified as a suspect in a murder.
The former Communist Party chief of the city of Chongqing in China, Bo Xilai, has been dismissed from additional key Communist Party posts, according to state media on Tuesday. His dismissal came as his wife was named a suspect in the murder of a British national.
Evidence gathered by a police investigation into the death of British citizen Neil Heywood, who died in Chongqing in November, found that his death was homicide and Bo's wife, Gu Kailai is “highly suspected.” She has been "transferred to judicial authorities on suspected crime of intentional homicide," said the official Xinhua news agency, referencing a dispute regarding "economic interests" between Gu and Heywood.
The scandal over Heywood’s death exploded after Bo’s vice mayor, Wang Lijun, fled to a US consulate for 24 hours in February, claiming that Gu was implicated in Heywood's death.
A separate news item by Xinhua said that Bo is now suspended from China's Central Committee, an elite group of 200 senior officials that meet annually, and Politburo, an even more influential body featuring around 24 Central Committee members. The agency said he is suspected of “serious discipline violations."
He is the most senior Chinese leader to be suspended from the Politburo in six years.
sej/mz (AP, AFP, Reuters)