If the “semi-open” trial of Gu Kailai for the murder of Neil Heywood was meant to lay the matter of his death to rest, it has not been entirely successful. Immediately afterwards, questions emerged about apparent inconsistencies between the official story and other accounts, while even reputable newspapers reported suspicions that the woman in the courtroom was not Gu Kailai at all. The trial in September of Gu’s co-conspirator Wang Lijun implicated former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai himself in his wife’s crime, at least to the extent of having helped conceal it. This was soon confirmed by the announcement that Bo would face criminal charges for, among other things, his “major responsibility” in the case. Meanwhile, one of China’s most senior forensic scientists argued that Gu’s description of Heywood’s final moments was inconsistent with the purported cause of death. Last week, she claimed that her analysis of public documents suggested that Heywood’s killing took place “to stop someone from disclosing a secret and that secret is not a sexual relationship, but bigger and more complicated, unspeakable.”
The latest twist comes from The Wall Street Journal. Based “on interviews with current and former British officials and close friends of the murdered Briton”, Jeremy Page reports that Heywood had been providing MI6 with information on Bo for over a year before he died:
In meetings, the British consultant hinted about his connections to Bo Xilai—the onetime Communist Party highflier—but often he would refuse to hand over a business card. He spoke Mandarin, smoked heavily and worked part time for a dealer of Aston Martin cars, the British brand driven by James Bond. Some thought him a fantasist, others a fraud.
But his contrived aura of mystery appears to have been a double bluff: He had been knowingly providing information about the
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