"Superstar" politician could be next head to roll in Heywood murder fallout
3:00pm Tuesday 16th October 2012 in News
The fallout from the murder of Neil Heywood has continued after speculation that a Chinese "political superstar" is set to be indicted for his role in the scandal.
The Times reported this week that Bo Xilai, a rising star within the Chinese Communist Party, could now follow his disgraced wife Gu Kailai, convicted last month along with her butler Zhang Xiaojun of killing Mr Heywood, to jail.
Mrs Gu, 53, was jailed and handed a suspended death sentence while Xiaojun was imprisoned for nine years.
Top ranking police chief Wang Lijun was also convicted of bribery.
Mr Bo, 62, was suspended from the party two weeks ago after allegations of abuse of power, playing a "major" role in Mr Wang's attempted defection and in the cover up of his wife's murder of Mr Heywood - he was also accused of "improper" relationships with a number of women.
Businessman Mr Heywood, 41, from Latchmere Road, Battersea, was murdered in a hotel in Chongqing province on November 14 last year.
A post mortem revealed he had been poisoned with cyanide.
The father-of-two had become embroiled in Chinese high society and confessed to friends he was "in trouble" and had been summoned to Chongqing by representatives of Mr Bo.
It was suggested in the Chinese media that had been having an affair with Mrs Gu while helping her to siphon nearly £800m of state assets overseas.
Recent reports from China indicate Mr Bo, could be charged within days and his trial and sentencing could take place before the 18th National Congress, in Beijing, on November 8.
Every 10 years there is a transfer of power to a new generation of leaders within the Chinese Communist Party and the Mr Bo had been hotly tipped for promotion in the shake-up.
The scandal, the most politically devastating in decades, has rocked the Chinese establishment and party officials who fear it could overshadow next month's congress.