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Mother of Neil Heywood breaks her silence

Ann Heywood, the mother of murdered British businessman Neil Heywood, has spoken out for the first time since the death of her son.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, she said she had refused all previous media requests, as she did not want to cause "any unnecessary embarrassment to the Chinese authorities", however circumstances now compelled her to speak out. She said:

"While struggling to come to terms with my own grief, my overriding concern has been for the security and well-being of Neil's two children.

Neil Heywood inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Credit: Reuters

"Given the circumstances of Neil's murder, I have been surprised and disappointed that, despite repeated discreet approaches to the Chinese authorities, there has been no substantive or practical response.

"I hope and trust that the leaders of this great nation, which Neil loved and respected, will now show decisiveness and compassion, so as to mitigate the consequences of a terrible crime and to enable my family finally to achieve some kind of closure to our ongoing nightmare.

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Disgraced Chinese politician 'abused his powers'

Bo Xilai and his wife were at the centre of China's biggest scandal in decades Credit: ZY/RC

China's government has expelled disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai from the Communist Party and said it would hand him over for criminal investigation accused of multiples crimes.

Bo's wife and his former police chief have both been jailed over the scandal stemming from the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in the southwestern city of Chongqing, where Bo was Communist Party chief.

A statement by the Chinese state news agency Xinhua said Bo has "abused his powers of office, committed serious errors and bears a major responsibility".

Bo will face charges for corruption, abuse of power, bribe taking and improper relations with a number of women.

"Bo Xilai's actions created grave repercussions, and massively damaged the reputation of the party and the state," said the statement.

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15 year jail term for Heywood case whistleblower

Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for defecting and other crimes.

He sparked a political scandal when he disclosed the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Former Chinese police chief Wang Lijuan speaking during a court hearing in Chengdu. Credit: Reuters
The court in the Chinese city of Chengdu. Credit: Reuters

Jail for Heywood case whistleblower

Former police chief Wang speaking during a court hearing in Chengdu Credit: Reuters TV / Reuters

The Chinese ex-police chief who sparked a divisive political scandal when he disclosed the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood has been jailed for 15 years.

Wang Lijuan was convicted of defection, abuse of power, and other crimes after visiting the US consulate in Chengdu in February and revealing that Mr Heywood, who was found dead in November, had been murdered and that the wife of his boss, senior politician Bo Xilai, was involved.

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 was chief of the Communist Party.

Wang was sentenced today at the Intermediate People's Court in Chengdu, China's official Xinhua news agency said.

He received a lighter term than the 20 years set out in the sentencing guidelines because of his help in exposing the central element in the scandal.

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