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China police chief sought asylum in US, says Chinese media

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A flamboyant, telegenic son of a revolutionary leader, Bo was a rare politician with a popular national profile and deep connections in the top rungs of the party, government and military. Since being suspended from the leadership in April, his name had not been mentioned in previous statements about the scandal — not even obliquely.

In the Xinhua account, Bo's Chongqing comes across as a place where Wang reigned as police chief unbridled by the law and where the powerful traded favors, even over murder.

It said Wang took money from two businessmen to buy and rent housing in Chongqing and Beijing. In return, when they asked, he ordered suspects released from police detention. He put people under electronic surveillance without authorization.

Bo's wife, Gu, confided in Wang last year that she and her son were in a business dispute with Briton Neil Heywood, and that he had allegedly threatened her son's life, Xinhua said. Wang and Gu first met in 2007 and had maintained close relations since. Wang put Heywood under surveillance.

On Nov. 13, the night she poisoned Heywood in a Chongqing hotel room, Gu called Wang and said she and the Briton had been drinking. About 12 hours later, Gu confessed the murder to Wang, Xinhua said.

"He told me not to think about it, that from now on I shouldn't concern myself," the account quoted Gu as saying at her trial last month, at which she received a suspended death sentence. Gu testified that "I said 'I'm a bit worried.' He said, 'It will be fine in a week or two.'"

Unknown to Gu, Wang recorded the conversation. He then sent police officers to remove and destroy evidence, including hotel surveillance videos of her on the night of the murder, Xinhua said. He had Heywood declared dead by excessive drinking.

After the body was cremated, Wang called Gu and told her, "It's all gone up in smoke, flown on a crane to paradise," the account said.

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