The Chinese murderer of the British businessman Neil Heywood tried to frame him as an Ecstasy and crystal meth drug kingpin, it has been claimed.
More than a year after Heywood's death in November 2011, new details of the events surrounding his poisoning by Gu Kailai, the wife of the politician Bo Xilai, are emerging as the Chinese media breaks its silence on the affair.
The disclosures, which have centred largely on the alleged activities of the former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun, paint a terrifying portrait of Bo's time as the party chief of the city where Heywood was killed in a hotel.
The Southern Metropolis Weekly magazine of Guangzhou reported allegations of a plot by Wang and Gu to frame Heywood as a drug trafficker and addict.
Reports of the conspiracy arose during Gu's trial in August but the magazine added further details, including claims that shortly before Heywood died a call was made to police alleging that he ran a drug distribution network in south-west China.
The report also claimed Gu told her servant, Zhang Xiaojun, to buy Ecstasy and crystal meth to frame Heywood.
The magazine published extracts from a supposed email exchange between Heywood and Bo Guagua, the son of Bo and Gu. The two men allegedly fell out over a property deal. According to the magazine, Heywood wrote to Bo Guagua in July 2011 demanding pounds 14?million. In another message, reputedly written days before his murder, the Old Harrovian told Gu's son: "If your actions are not consistent with your words, you will face the consequence of your own deeds." In a third email, Heywood reportedly wrote: "If it is not the time to resolve the issue, let's put it aside for now." Despite this, Gu reportedly continued to believe that Heywood would "destroy" her son.
Gu was convicted of Heywood's murder and given a suspended death sentence. Bo is expected to stand trial next year. Wang received a 15-year sentence for his role in covering up Heywood's murder and attempted defection to the United States.
The magazine did not name its sources, but the level of detail suggests its reporters had access to the police investigations.
Hong Kong's South China Morning Post has also begun publishing a series of exposes on Bo's Chongqing. One report described how victims of Bo's anti-mafia campaign were tortured by the police.
The website Tencent published a list of 10 torture techniques it claimed were used by Wang's interrogators, including injecting wasabi into victims' noses.
David Bandurski, of Hong Kong University's China Media Project, said the media focus on Bo's Chongqing reflected a consensus among senior leaders about the affair. "The Party has made it very clear where they stand on this case," he said. "There's a position and it has been made very clear at a senior level so this gives them [journalists] cover."