A fallen star in Chinese politics appears headed to trial after he was implicated by the government this week as an accessory to the murder of a British businessman.
The downfall of Bo Xilai has scandalized China’s political establishment for seven months. His wife was convicted of murder; his former right-hand man accused of taking bribes, abusing power and trying to defect to the United States, among other crimes.
Bo himself was sacked as party boss of the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing in March and stripped of his position among the Communist Party elite. But the question remained: Will Bo simply get a slap on the wrist from the party’s disciplinary body, or will he too face criminal charges?
This week’s revelation, that Bo was aware of his wife’s role in the poisoning death of Briton Neil Heywood and did nothing about it, sends the clearest signal yet that it will be the latter.
“All the facts and evidence are ultimately turning against Bo,” said He Weifang, a law professor at prestigious Peking University, “and the time for his indictment is coming closer.”
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