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Official who cast doubt on murder quits

AFP-JIJI

A Chinese forensic expert who questioned the murder conviction of top politician Bo Xilai’s wife has resigned one of her positions, state media said Monday, just as Bo’s trial date was announced.

Wang Xuemei — who openly doubted the ruling communist authorities’ account of the death of British businessman Neil Heywood — stepped down as vice president of the Chinese Forensic Medicine Association, the Global Times said.

The reason for Wang’s timing was unclear. In a video posted online over the weekend she cited her disagreement with a separate, unrelated case for her decision.

Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, was given a suspended death sentence in August 2012 for fatally poisoning Heywood.

But Wang disputed the Gu verdict, saying that Heywood’s heart would have stopped instantly if he had been poisoned but that Gu’s description of events did not mention this.

The claim of poisoning lacked scientific evidence, she wrote, suggesting the businessman might have been suffocated instead.

Wang’s statement last year soon disappeared online — many sensitive items are deleted by official censors — although copies were posted on overseas websites.