- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
Britain wants probe into death in Chongqing
Citizen tied to ousted politician
The British citizen, Neil Heywood, died in November in Chongqing, an embassy spokesman in Beijing said.
The request comes as an investigation into officials in the megacity of Chongqing widens, with Chinese media reporting that a district head has been taken into police custody.
Mr. Bo gained notoriety for a citywide campaign to revive Mao Zedong-era communist songs and stories, dredging up memories of the chaotic Cultural Revolution, themes that worried some about a return of Mao’s dogmatic communist politics.
Mr. Bo, 62, was one of the country’s highest-profile politicians and had been considered a leading candidate for the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee when new members are chosen this fall.
A professional acquaintance of Heywood’s who spoke on condition of anonymity said Heywood was a consultant who had links to the Bo family stretching back to Mr. Bo’s time as the top official in northeast China’s Dalian more than a decade ago.
The acquaintance said Heywood maintained his close ties when Mr. Bo moved to Beijing to serve as commerce minister and later when he took the top job in Chongqing, a city of 32 million, but declined to give further details.
The Wall Street Journal on Monday cited unnamed friends and acquaintances of Heywood as saying he had told them he had close ties to the Bo family and could help arrange meetings and business deals in Chongqing. The report said the ties had been made through Heywood’s Chinese wife, who is from Dalian.
Chinese websites and British media reported that officials had said Heywood died from overconsumption of alcohol.
“At the time, we had no reason to disbelieve the police’s findings,” the British Embassy spokesman said. “But as concerns were raised to us, and those concerns became more numerous, we then passed those concerns to the Chinese authorities and asked them to investigate.”
The official, who asked not to be named in line with embassy policy, said the British government spoke with Chinese authorities to request a further investigation, but said he could not provide further details about the discussions except that they took place earlier this year.
Police in Chongqing said Monday that they had no information on the case, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular news briefing that he also had no information.
A Beijing-based business weekly known for bold reporting, the Economic Observer, said Sunday that the top party official in Chongqing’s Nan’an district, Xia Zeliang, was detained last week but that it was still unclear what charges he might face.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Adam Lanza's dad: He would've killed me 'in a heartbeat'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again