China's Disgraced Bo Xilai To Face Trial Soon - Paper

by
Reuters
Disgraced former senior Chinese leader Bo Xilai will soon face public trial on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Disgraced former senior Chinese leader Bo Xilai will soon face public trial on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Bo's wife Gu Kailai and his former police chief, Wang Lijun, have both been jailed over China's biggest political scandal in decades, which stems from the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011.

The government in September last year accused Bo of corruption and of bending the law to hush up that murder.

China's prosecutors and courts come under party control and are most unlikely to challenge the party's accusations, though formal charges have yet to be publicly announced.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, citing unnamed sources, said details of the charges against Bo had been read out at meetings of government officials in his former power base of Chongqing and other cities.

No timetable for the trial was given, but it would happen soon in the eastern city of Jinan, the daily said.

Bo was ousted from his post as Communist Party chief in the southwestern city of Chongqing last year after Heywood's murder.

Before that, Bo had been widely tipped to be promoted to the party's elite inner core.

His downfall came after his estranged police chief Wang fled briefly to a U.S. consulate in the neighbouring city of Chengdu last February and accused Bo's wife of poisoning Heywood.

Bo, a former commerce minister, used his post as Communist Party chief of Chongqing from 2007 to 2012 to cast the sprawling, haze-covered municipality into a showcase for his mix of populist policies and bold spending plans that won support from leftists yearning for a charismatic leader.

Rumours have swirled in China about Bo's fate, but the government has given no definitive word on progress into the investigation against him since late last year.

Another Hong Kong newspaper, the Beijing-backed Ta Kung Pao, reported in January that Bo was about to be tried in the southern city of Guiyang, which sent dozens of reporters flocking to the courthouse.

The report turned out to be untrue.