Investigators are looking for the evidence of foul play in the death of the first wife of Zhou Yongkang, a source with direct knowledge of the investigation told Reuters.
Zhou, the former domestic security chief and a member of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, was named in a formal corruption probe in late July.
While details about the investigation remain unknown, sources told Reuters that Zhou will be expelled from the party possibly during the forthcoming fourth plenary session of the party’s Central Committee in October.
He will be accused of accepting bribes to promote his allies and seeking benefits for his family members, the sources said. Zhou’s eldest son Zhou Bin is expected to be indicted soon on corruption charges.
Zhou married a China Central Television producer Jia Xiaoye in 2001 after his first wife, Wang Shuhua, died in a mysterious car accident fourteen years ago.
According to Boxun magazine, a military vehicle crashed into Wang’s car at a military sanitarium in Beijing, killing Wang and her female friend.
Rumors have been swirling that Zhou orchestrated the accident to kill his wife in order to marry Jia.
The two drivers of the military vehicle were sentenced up to 20 years in prison but released after four years, and appointed to management positions in the oil sector, which was then under Zhou’s control, Boxun said.
Jia has been detained as part of the investigation into Zhou’s alleged corruption.
Sources: Reuters, Telegraph, Boxun (博讯)
Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.