Whistleblower jailed in Heywood murder case

Wang Lijun speaks during his trial in Chengdu, southwest China Credit: AP Photo/CCTV via AP video

The Chinese ex-police chief who blew the whistle on the murder of London businessman Neil Heywood has been jailed for 15 years.

Wang Lijuan was convicted of defection and abuse of power after visiting the US consulate in Chengdu in February and revealing that Mr Heywood had been murdered.

Neil Heywood was found dead in his hotel room in Chongqing in November 2011 Credit: Reuters

He also revealed that the wife of his boss was involved in the crime. Gu Kailai was handed a suspended death sentence last month for poisoning Heywood with cyanide in the south-western city of Chongqing, where her husband, Bo Xilai, was chief of the Communist Party.

Senior politician Bo Xilai may still face prosecution over Neil Heywood's murder Credit: Andy Wong/AP/Press Association Images

Mr Bo was dismissed in March as party secretary for Chongqing, having once been considered a strong contender for a top position.

Chinese leaders are now expected to announce whether Mr Bo will face criminal prosecution.

Mr Heywood's death in a hotel last November was initially ruled an accident and put down to alcohol abuse, although his friends said he was not a heavy drinker. Gu's arrest and the ousting of her husband sparked the biggest political turbulence in China since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.