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Speculation rife over Bo’s trial date

world Updated: Jan 27, 2013 23:37 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

It was unclear till late Sunday evening whether disgraced Communist leader Bo Xilai’s trial, as claimed by a government-backed Hong Kong newspaper last week, would begin on Monday.

A Beijing-backed Hong Kong newspaper, the Ta Kung Pao, reported on Friday that Bo's trial would begin on Monday in the southern Chinese city of Guiyang.

The government however is yet to make in official announcement on the case even though speculation about the impending trial has mounted.

Bo’s high-profile sacking in 2012 first as mayor of Chongqing and then his expulsion from the Communist Party of China (CPC) after being implicated in the cover-up of the murder of a British businessman grabbed world headlines.

Once touted to become a member of the elite and powerful of the Standing Committee of CPC, Bo’s career came crashing down; he was charged with disciplinary violations and his Party membership was cancelled in September.

Bo's wife, Bo-Gu Kailai, and his former police chief, Wang Lijun, were convicted over the scandal that stemmed from the murder of a British businessman in November 2011 while Bo was secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the CPC.

Bo was later deprived of CPC membership and expelled from public service for severe disciplinary violations.

Though not yet confirming trial dates for Bo, authorities have continued efforts to shake off the impact of the once-star leader’s fall from grace.

State media reported that Chongqing's municipal government had “vowed” over the weekend to “shake off the impacts” of the Bo Xilai scandal and make law-abiding governance the priority alongside further reform.

Huang Qifan, Chongqing mayor said the government has endeavored to maintain steady economical and social development despite the severe toll of the incidents involving Bo Xilai, with the city recording an annual economic growth of 13.6%.

According to state-run Xinhua news agency the government published the full text of its work report, in which it placed governing in accordance with the Constitution and the law as a main focus for this year, while references to Chongqing's previous high-profile crackdowns on organized crimes – led by Bo during his tenure as mayor – were notably absent.

“In 2009, when Bo Xilai was the CPC chief of Chongqing, the city launched a massive anti-crime campaign, prioritizing fighting local mafia-style gangs. Though Bo and Chongqing's police were credited with reducing crime, concerns were raised about abuses of power and the neglect of due legal process,” the report said.

The government should rule in accordance with the law, and "no organization or individual has the privilege to overstep the Constitution and the law," the work report said.