The family of a British businessman murdered by the wife of one of China's most powerful politicians is seeking compensation for his death and has criticized the Chinese government for ignoring their pleas.
The businessman, Neil Heywood, was killed with cyanide at the age of 41 by Gu Kailai, wife of senior Chinese leader Bo Xilai, in a hotel room in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing in November 2011.
In a statement to media on Monday, Mr. Heywood's mother, Ann Heywood, said she was "surprised and disappointed that, despite repeated discreet approaches to the Chinese authorities, there has been no substantive or practical response," to requests for financial compensation, which is commonly paid to victims' families in China.
Ms. Heywood pointed out in her statement, which first appeared in the Wall Street Journal, that her son's young children, Olivia, 12, and George, 8, "are particularly vulnerable to the hurt and horror of their father's murder and, since Neil was the family's sole breadwinner, to uncertainty and insecurity, there being no provision for their future."
Representatives of the family have been quietly lobbying the Chinese government to provide compensation since Ms. Gu was found guilty of Mr. Heywood's murder in a hasty trial in August 2012.
They have argued the state and the ruling Communist party bear some responsibility for ensuring Mr. Heywood's family is compensated because Mr. Bo sat on the party's elite 25-member politburo and because police in Chongqing initially covered up the murder by blaming his death on alcohol poisoning.