27 Jul 2012

Murder charge laid against Chinese politician's wife

8:51 am on 27 July 2012

The wife of Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been charged with the murder of a British businessman.

The businessman Neil Heywood was found dead in a hotel in Chongqing in November last year and local officials initially said he died of excessive drinking.

The Chinese state news agency Xinhua says charges against Gu Kailai and a family orderly were recently filed with a Chinese court.

Both have been charged with intentional homicide, the BBC reports.

The scandal has already rocked Chinese politics, with Mr Heywood's killing already triggering Mr Bo's downfall.

He had been expected to be promoted during China's leadership change later this year, which only happens once a decade.

The case has been shrouded in secrecy for months, since China's Government announced in April that it was investigating Ms Gu.