Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been barred from the Communist party and now faces multiple criminal charges, including taking massive bribe, abusing power and the worst of all, being the “mastermind” in his wife’s murder of a British businessman and maintaining improper sexual relationships with several women.
The verdict by the 25-member Politburo, to which Bo once belonged, means he is all but certain to face the biggest political court case ever since the show trial of the Gang of Four in 1981, following the cultural revolution.
The disgrace surrounding his family, which led to his wife Gu Kailai’s conviction last month for the murder of Neil Heywood, has surpassed this year’s transition of power to a new generation of leaders – now set in early November. The 18th party congress will start on 8 November.
The 63-year-old Bo Xilai was once listed for higher office in this autumn’s handover.
Chongqing’s former police chief, Wang Lijun, hurried his former patron’s fall by fleeing to a US consulate after telling Bo he believed Gu had killed Heywood, and repeating his claims to diplomats.
According to reports, Wang was convicted of defection, helping to cover up Heywood’s murder and other crimes earlier this month. Xinhua said Bo “bore major responsibility in the Wang Lijun incident and the intentional homicide case of Bogu Kailai”, but did not specify how.
It said he had made wrong choices in promoting people “leading to serious consequences” and added that the party investigation “found clues to his suspected involvement in other crimes”. The news agency stated Bo had seriously violated party discipline as mayor of Dalian, a position he held more than a decade ago, as well as in his roles as minister of commerce and then party secretary of Chongqing.
His actions had “badly undermined the reputation of the party and the country, created very negative impact at home and abroad and significantly damaged the cause of the party and people”, the news agency added.
The double declarations were made last Friday evening, while millions of Chinese citizens were getting away for the start of the week-long October holiday.