Official Expert Questions Heywood Cause of Death

One of China’s most senior forensic scientists has challenged the official explanation for Neil Heywood’s death in a now deleted blog post. Gu Kailai, wife of former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, confessed to poisoning the British businessman with cyanide, but Wang argues that her account and the evidence as a whole fail to support this. From John Kennedy at the South China Morning Post:

“A serious lack of evidence exists,” Wang writes, “to conclude that Neil Heywood died of cyanide poisoning, as well as any supporting scientific basis.”

“What I find extremely terrifying,” she continues, is that missing in both the secret recording of Gu’s confession to the murder and the court testimony provided by Gu and Zhang themselves, she claims, is any indication that Gu and Zhang witnessed a death that involved the characteristics of cyanide poisoning: the scream reflex that occurs during “lightning-fast” asphyxia, body spasms which would have been apparent as the cyanide reached Heywood’s central nervous system, stupour that would have followed, or eventual cardiopulmonary arrest just prior to his death.

[…] Wang spends the second half of her post analysing Gu’s mental condition, but strongly implies that Gu had been manipulated by Wang Lijun for quite some time. The point comes at the very end of her post with a standalone question:

Who had the most to gain from Neil Heywood’s death?

From Tania Branigan at The Guardian:

Wang has had an unusually high media profile in the past, lauded in the Chinese media as the first female forensic scientist to work for the country’s highest level prosecution body.

[… I]t is extremely surprising that an official in her position would publicly question the verdict in such a politically sensitive case.

[…] She told the Guardian: “I don’t care how long the blog is up there. I just want to tell people I feel humiliated.

“I think Chinese criminal doctors are not such idiots. I have done my duty and fulfilled my historical responsibility.”

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