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Mother of Briton Killed in China Asks for Compassion for Family

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Mother of Briton Killed in China Asks for Compassion for Family
Police officers stand guard outside the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court as China opens the murder trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of Politburo member Bo Xilai who was later convicted of poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood, in Hefei, Anhui province on Aug. 9, 2012. Photographer: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The mother of a British businessman whose murder led to the ouster of Politburo member Bo Xilai urged the government to show compassion to his children, who have no “financial provision for their future,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ann Heywood, the mother of Neil Heywood, said she was “surprised and disappointed” that Chinese authorities hadn’t responded in a substantive way despite “repeated discreet approaches,” the Journal reported, citing a statement she gave the newspaper yesterday. The statement didn’t say what Ann Heywood was asking for.

Neil Heywood was found dead in the southwest city of Chongqing in November 2011, and Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, was later convicted of poisoning him. Bo is awaiting trial on corruption and abuse of power charges in a case that has posed the Communist Party’s biggest political crisis since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

Heywood’s children, who are 8 and 12 years old, are vulnerable to uncertainty and insecurity, Ann Heywood said in the statement, according to the Journal. Citing friends it didn’t identify, The Journal said his widow and their two children live in Beijing.

“I hope and trust that the leaders of this great nation, which Neil loved and respected, will now show decisiveness and compassion, so as to mitigate the consequences of a terrible crime and to enable my family finally to achieve some kind of closure to our ongoing nightmare,” she said.

A phone call to the news office of China’s Foreign Ministry rang unanswered today.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Henry Sanderson in Beijing at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at

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