A new report by the Daily Telegraph’s Damien McElroy and Malcolm Moore suggests she did — not just once but three times in all:
Wang Lijun, the former chief of police in Chongqing, told US officials that Gu Kailai had confessed that she was responsible for the killing with the words: “I did it.”
Mr Wang gave his account of her alleged confession to diplomats at the US consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu in February.
Wang gave a virtually identical report to the Chinese authorities after he left and these accounts have been given in official circles within and outside China.
According to Mr Wang, Mr Heywood, a fixer with decades of experience in China and a family friend of Mr Bo and his wife, was held down in a hotel room in Chongqing and forced to drink cyanide. Subsequently, Mrs Gu allegedly confessed to the crime. “Gu said ‘I did it’ three times to Wang,” a diplomatic source with knowledge of Wang’s account said. “It was a gruesome scene, Heywood spat the cyanide out and they had to give him more.”
The Daily Yomiuri also claimed in an earlier report that Heywood was held down and forced to drink cyanide, citing comments made in a secret meeting of Chongqing party officials on the day the scandal broke out:
A senior party official assembled his subordinates in a small conference room on April 10, the day the scandal became public. In an unusual move, attendees were ordered to turn off their cell phones and prohibited from taking notes.
The official explained the background that led to Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, and Zhang Xiaojun, a servant at Bo’s home, being suspected of conspiring to have Neil Heywood murdered in a Chongqing hotel last November.
“They tried to poison Heywood with a drink, but he spat it out,” the official said. “The two people then forcibly held Heywood down, and poured the poison into his mouth.”
Bo had often boasted of his two-year crackdown on criminal elements in Chongqing that resulted in the arrest of more than 5,700 people. The senior official’s suggestion that Bo might have somehow been involved in a murder staggered other people in the room.
“He was the gangster of all gangsters,” one attendee said.
The senior official spoke as if reading out the synopsis of a mystery novel.
“The item Heywood spat out was retrieved and stored by the deputy chief of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, and that has become a decisive piece of evidence. Wang Lijun has been applauded for cooperating in helping to unravel the truth in this incident,” one official said.
Follow the Bo Xilai saga here.