Bo Xilai's wife blames 'mental breakdown' for murder

HEFEI, China - The wife of a Chinese former top politician at the heart of a scandal that has rocked the ruling Communist Party has admitted murdering a British businessman and blamed her actions on a "mental breakdown", state media reported on Friday.

Xinhua news agency said Gu Kailai told her murder trial that she suffered the breakdown after "learning that my son was in jeopardy", in a report released the day four Chinese police officers reportedly confessed to covering up the killing of Neil Heywood.

Gu, who is accused of poisoning the 41-year-old businessman with cyanide in a hotel room last November when he was drunk, said she would "accept and calmly face any sentence" handed down by the court, Xinhua said.

She also said she would "shoulder responsibility" for losses to her party and country, it added.

In a statement to the court at the end of the one-day hearing on Thursday, the wife of disgraced former Chongqing Party secretary Bo Xilai said she accepted all the facts in the indictment, Xinhua added.

She told the court the case had been "like a huge stone weighing on me for more than half a year".

"During those days last November, I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy," she said, referring to Bo Guagua who is believed to have had a dispute with Heywood over money.

"The tragedy which was created by me was not only extended to Neil, but also to several families.

"The case has produced great losses to the Party and the country, for which I ought to shoulder the responsibility, and I will never feel at ease. I am grateful to the humanitarian care shown to me by those who handled the case.

"I solemnly tell the court that in order to maintain the dignity of the law, I will accept and calmly face any sentence and I also expect a fair and just court decision."

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