WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- The White House says President Obama was briefed about an overnight visit to a U.S. consulate by a Chinese police chief involved in a growing political scandal.
Wang Lijun spent 30 hours at the consulate in Chengdu shortly after he was fired from his post amid his investigation into a homicide in which the wife of prominent Communist Party official Bo Xilai was considered a suspect.
Bo, considered a rising party star, was recently ousted from his position.
Wang told U.S. diplomats about his suspicions in the death of British businessman Neil Heywood and holed up at the consulate for more than a day in February to avoid being arrested by authorities loyal to Bo, an administration official told The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper said Wang's visit caused a quandary for Washington, which considered offering Wang asylum. The State Department eventually assisted Wang in turning himself in; however, he has not been seen since.
The official told The Journal that Obama was kept in the loop as the situation surrounding Bo developed, but he was not involved in the asylum decision. The newspaper said a jurisdictional firewall keeps the White House out of asylum decisions.
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