China's Gu confesses to killing Briton Heywood: Xinhua
By John Ruwitch and Chris Buckley
HEFEI, China/BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese woman accused of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood admitted guilt and blamed a mental breakdown for the events that brought her to trial and toppled her once-powerful politician husband, Bo Xilai, state media said on Friday.
The first extended public comments on the case from Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, appeared in a Xinhua news agency account which said she and a household aide, Zhang Xiaojun, had "confessed to intentional homicide" in poisoning Heywood in November.
"I will accept and calmly face any sentence and I also expect a fair and just court decision," Gu told her trial on Thursday, according to the Xinhua account, which could not be independently verified.
But the state media account of Gu's testimony also repeated her argument that she turned on Heywood, a long-time family friend who had helped her son Bo Guagua with his schooling in England, only after she decided he was a threat to her son.
"During those days last November, I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy," Gu said.
The latest official account from the scandal that has beset China's ruling Communist Party came on the same day that four Chinese policemen admitted to attempting to shield Gu from suspicion of the murder of Heywood, an official said, in another damaging development for the ex-Politburo member.
The official's statement, given after an 11-hour hearing barred to non-official media, formally establishes for the first time that there was an attempted cover-up of the Heywood's murder and comes just a day after Bo's wife, Gu, chose not to contest a charge of poisoning him.
Bo was sacked as Chongqing boss in March and his wife was publicly accused of the murder in April, when Bo was dumped from the Politburo and detained on an accusation he had violated party discipline - code for corruption, abuse of power and other misdeeds. Continued...