Bo Xilai may face criminal charges for blocking murder probe

Beijing: Purged Chinese Communist leader Bo Xilai could face criminal charges for blocking investigations into the death of British businessman Neil Heywood, as Whitehall mounted pressure on Beijing to probe the matter.

Law expert Prof Wang Chengwang went on air on state television to explain that as an influential party leader Bo would first be probed by a disciplinary commission before police and judicial authorities take over.

The TV mounted a special programme on the case which has gripped people in the world`s most populous state, as they scan websites for news on the rumbling political scandal.

Bo, who was sacked early this month for indiscipline, is currently being probed by the Communist Party`s disciplinary commission for "interfering" in the investigations relating to the involvement of his wife Gu Kailai and orderly, Zhang, in the murder of their family friend Heywood.

The disciplinary proceedings are aimed at investigating whether Bo interfered with the probe relating to involvement of his wife and orderly, the law expert said, adding that Bo could face criminal proceedings if charges were established.

The suspected murder of Heywood has raised hackles in his home country, with Prime Minister David Cameron raising the issue during a meeting with a senior Chinese Communist Party official at Downing Street, BBC reported.

The Chinese law expert said on television that "Ordinary criminal cases are handled by police. Party disciplinary commission start investigation into breach of party discipline, (incase of party officials). Bo Xilai interfered with criminal investigation. This is a kind of breech of his governmental and official duty. Therefore case against him is the breech of discipline." Gu and Zhang are currently under judicial custody.