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

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Jail for Heywood case whistleblower

Former police chief Wang speaking during a court hearing in Chengdu
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.

Police chief who highlighted the Heywood murder scandal is charged

China says the former police chief at the heart of the country's biggest political scandal in years has been charged with defection, power abuse, and bribe taking.

Wang Lijun's flight to the US consulate was deemed to constitute defection.

This led to the dismissal of the city's powerful communist party boss Bo Xilai and the conviction of Bo's wife for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

The official Xinhua News Agency gave no immediate details about the charges against Lijun, but the announcement indicates a trial will come soon, moving the scandal closer to a resolution before a key transition to a new generation of national leaders this autumn.

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