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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

World

Fallen politician Bo Xilai to face trial on August 22
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, August 18, 2013
First Published: 15:59 IST(18/8/2013)
Last Updated: 23:55 IST(18/8/2013)

Expelled Chinese politician Bo Xilai charged with corruption, bribery and abuse of power in July will stand tried in court on Thursday, state media said on Sunday.

Bo the Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Chongqing a city in South China was sacked from the Party last year after his and his family's name came up in the scandal surrounding murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood in November 2011.

The subsequent political scandal shocked the Communist country with its trail of money, murder and sleaze.
Bo's wife, Gu Kailai was jailed last August after official versions said she had confessed to the murder of Heywood following a business dispute and threats to their son, Bo Guagua.

Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on September 24 for abuse of power, corruption and defection.
Wang, once close to Bo, had tried to seek asylum in the US consulate in Chengdu after he fell out with the Communist leader and claimed that his life was in danger.

"Bo Xilai will stand open trial at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court next week for charges of bribery, graft and abuse of power, the court said Sunday. The open trial will start at 8.30am on Aug. 22 at its 5th courtroom," state-run Xinhua news agency said in a brief report.

Last July, Bo was charged with bribery, embezzlement and power abuse, "Bo, as a civil servant, took the advantage of his position to seek profits for others and accepted an "extremely large amount" of money and properties," the indictment papers said.

"He also embezzled a huge amount of public money and abused his power, seriously harming the interests of the state and people," the document, quoted by state media, said.

"He had committed serious crimes and will be indicted on the charges of bribery, embezzlement and power abuse," it said.

The new Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping has tried to portray the Bo Xilai case as an example of how serious the government was on cracking down on corruption.

"The indictment (of Bo Xilai), as well as feedback from Chinese public, shows that a major consensus has been reached within the Party and the whole society that China must resolutely crack down on corruption and uphold the rule of law. The facts have repeatedly shown that in China, people will be held accountable and severely punished if they break the law, no matter who they are," a recent commentary in Xinhua said.


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