News24

Chinese police 'admit' murder cover-up

2012-08-10 21:04

Hefei - Four Chinese police officers on Friday admitted in court to covering up the killing of a British businessman to protect the wife of a senior politician charged with his murder, an official said.

The men went on trial on Friday accused of trying to protect the spouse of Bo Xilai, who was one of China's most senior leaders until his downfall earlier this year in a political scandal that has shaken the ruling Communist party.

All four were senior police officials in Chongqing, the southwestern Chinese megacity that Bo ran until he was sacked in March, and where British businessman Neil Heywood's body was discovered in a hotel room last November.

Tang Yigan, an official with the Hefei Intermediate Court in eastern China, told reporters the one-day hearing had ended late Friday and that a verdict would be given at a later date.

"The defendants admitted that the charge of bending the law for selfish ends was basically correct," he said of the four, named as Guo Weiguo, Li Yang, Wang Pengfei and Wang Zhi.

Bo's wife Gu Kailai went on trial on Thursday accused of killing Heywood by pouring poison into his mouth when he was drunk -- a charge she did not contest in court.

Gu is waiting to hear her fate after her one-day trial ended without a verdict, but there is little doubt she will be found guilty.

It is not clear whether Bo knew about the alleged cover-up, although the hearing was being closely watched for any hints on the likely fate of the charismatic and ambitious former leader.