Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been expelled from the Communist Party and faces multiple criminal charges, including abusing power and taking massive bribes.
He is also accused of bearing "major responsibility" in relation to his wife's murder of a British businessman and maintaining improper sexual relationships with several women.
The decision by the 25-member Politburo, to which Bo once belonged, means he is all but certain to face the biggest political court case since the show trial of the Gang of Four in 1981, following the Cultural Revolution.
The scandal surrounding his family, which led to his wife Gu Kailai's conviction last month for the murder of Neil Heywood, has overshadowed this year's transition of power to a new generation of leaders - now set for early November.
The 18th party congress will start on November 8, the state news agency Xinhua said in a separate dispatch; a few weeks later than had been anticipated. That could allow sufficient time for Bo, the former party secretary of Chongqing, to be charged and tried before the meeting opens.
The Xinhua report gave no indication of where or when he would stand trial.
The 63-year-old was once tipped for higher office in this autumn's handover. Many in China are privately sceptical about the true causes of his fall, suggesting corruption and power abuses alone are not sufficient to unseat senior leaders. He is known to have alienated many in the party with his obvious ambition.
The party also took serious note of the incident in which former police chief of Chongqing, Wang Lijun, escaped to US consulate fearing reprisals from Bo.