The disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been indicted on charges of corruption, accepting bribes and abuse of power, state media reported. The case is one of China’s biggest political scandals in decades.
The former high-flying communist politician Bo Xilai was indicted more than a year after the allegations against him were exposed, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.
“The indictment paper was delivered” to a court in Jinan in the eastern province of Shandong, Xinhua said, citing prosecutors in the city.
Bo “took advantage of his position to seek profits for others and accepted an ‘extremely large amount’ of money and properties,” Xinhua added, quoting the indictment.
The indictment paves the way for a trial to take place in the city soon, although the report did not offer a date.
Bo, the former party chief of the southwestern city of Chongqing, was expelled from the Communist Party over allegations levelled against him in September and has not been seen in public for over a year.
He stands accused of massive corruption, bribe taking and illicit sexual affairs – banned by the party and considered an inducement to corruption.
Bo is also accused of being involved in the cover-up of his wife’s murder of a British businessman, Neil Hayward. His wife, Gu Kailai, was handed a commuted death sentence in August after confessing to the murder. Bo’s police chief and right-hand man, Wang Lijun, was handed a 15-year sentence in September for his role in covering up the scandal.
Before his fall from power, Bo was considered a rising star within China’s political establishment. His so-called “Chongqing Model,” which targeted organized crime and supported egalitarian economic policies, attracted a base of support among the Communist Party’s disgruntled leftist faction.
He was widely considered a candidate for the Politburo Standing Committee, which currently has seven members and is China’s most powerful body.
ccp/jm (AFP, Reuters, AP)