Bo Xilai indicted for corruption, abuse of power in China

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Disgraced Chinese leader Bo Xilai was Thursday charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power by prosecutors in one of the biggest political scandals to hit the ruling Communist Party in decades.

The high-flying former Communist Party chief of Chongqing municipality, Bo, was charged with bribery, embezzlement and power abuse, according to Jinan city people’s procuratorate in Shandong Province.

The 64-year-old Communist leader is currently under detention while his wife Gu Kailai is serving a suspended death sentence for the murder of a British national.

Bo’s indictment paper was delivered to the Jinan city intermediate people’s court Thursday and the trial was expected to take place there soon, more than a year after he dropped from sight in one of China’s messiest-ever political scandals.

As a civil servant, Bo took the advantage of his position to seek profits for others and accepted “extremely large amount” of money and properties, state-run Xinhua news agency reported quoting the indictment paper.

Bo also embezzled a huge amount of public money and abused his power, seriously harming the interests of the state and people, the document said.

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

Bo had been informed of his legal rights and interviewed by prosecutors. His defending counsels also delivered their opinions, the prosecutors said.

The indictment rests speculation that China’s new leadership headed by President Xi Jinping is going slow to punish Bo, who was a prince ling.

A high-profile leader, Bo was also regarded as top contender for the new seven member standing committee of the Communist Party China. But all that vanished when Wang Lijun, the police chief of the Chongqing municipality headed by Bo, defected to US Consulate in Chengdu and sought refugee there last year fearing reprisals from him over investigations into the murder of the British national allegedly committed by Gu.

Wang, who later came out of the US Consulate following assurances, was also jailed for 15 years last year for defecting to US consulate and for corruption.

Bo came to prominence through his tenure as the mayor of Dalian and then governor of Liaoning province. From 2004 to November 2007, he served as minister of commerce.

Bo was aspiring to become in-charge of public security under the new leadership headed by President Xi. Bo also became famous for trying to revive the revolutionary fervour of Mao era — playing up on the growing rich poor divide.

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