Neil Heywood China Murder Investigation Welcomed By David Cameron

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Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai, who has been accused of involvement in Neil Heywood's murder
Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai, who has been accused of involvement in Neil Heywood's murder

David Cameron has welcomed China's decision to investigate the mysterious death of a British businessman who had links to a high placed Chinese official.

China has named suspended senior Communist Party official Bo Xilai's wife as a suspect in the death of a Neil Heywood.

Speaking at a press conference during a trade mission to Indonesia, the prime minister said: "We did ask the Chinese to hold an investigation and we are pleased that they are now doing that.

"It is very important we get to the truth of what happened in this very disturbing case, this very tragic case."

Heywood, who was known to be close to Bo Xilai, was found dead in a Chinese hotel room last November.

The official report into Heywood's death said he died of alcohol poisoning. His body was cremated shortly afterward, and no post-mortem was conducted.

But his death has since become embroiled in the political scandal surrounding Bo, after other businessmen in Beijing apparently suggested he might have been murdered.

Heywood's relationship with the regional party chief was unusually close for a foreigner. He had reportedly helped Xilai's son get into Harrow School, where he had been educated.

In March ITV said that Heywood worked for a corporate intelligence firm which was set up by former MI6 officers, and quoted sources who speculated that he may have been a spy.

Last week ITV reported that Heywood may have "fallen out" with Bo's wife, a lawyer named Gu Kailai, before he died.

The Chinese police initially insisted Heywood's death was accidental, but last week the Foreign Office asked China to reopen the investigation and on Tuesday the official Xinhua news agency said: "The existing evidence indicated that Heywood died of homicide, of which Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun, an orderly at Bo’s home, are highly suspected."

"Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun have been transferred to judicial authorities on suspected crime of intentional homicide."