11 Aug 2012

Police officers implicated in murder case, tried

6:14 am on 11 August 2012

A trial has been held in the Chinese city of Hefei of four senior police officers accused of trying to cover up the murder of a British businessman by the wife of a prominent politician.

A court official said on Friday they admitted the charges.

The trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of Bo Xilai, was held on Thursday. It lasted less than a day.

The Xinhua news agency said Ms Gu has admitted murdering British businessman Neil Heywood by poisoning him and blamed her actions on a mental breakdown.

Mr Bo was the Communist party head in the city of Chongqing when Mr Heywood's body was found at a hotel in November 2011.

At the time the death was recorded as a heart attack.

Mr Bo was sacked in March and is currently under investigation for unspecified "disciplinary violations".

The BBC reports he has not been seen in public since the investigation into his wife was announced.

Xinhua said the accused include Guo Weiguo, former deputy chief of Chongqing's Public Security Bureau, and Li Yang, former chief of the bureau's criminal section.

Dates for the verdicts in both trials are yet to be announced.

Ms Gu's aide has also been charged in connection with the murder.