China is moving ahead with the long-awaited case against disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai, whose alleged involvement in a murder and corruption scandal has upset Chinese leadership.
In a short article Wednesday, the official Xinhua news agency says the “serious law violation case” involving Bo “has been transferred to judicial organs.” It did not say when any trial would take place.
The fate of Bo, who has not been heard from or seen in months, is uncertain. His wife, Gu Kailai, has been convicted of murdering a British businessman over a financial dispute. His former ex-police chief, Wang Lijun, was convicted of trying to cover up the murder.
But there has been much speculation about whether Bo himself, a former member of the Chinese Communist Party's elite Politburo, would be subject to the same criminal proceedings or would be disciplined internally.
In September, Xinhua announced Bo was kicked out of the party and would face charges including corruption, abuse of power, bribe taking, and “improper” relations with a number of women.
The case has exposed top-levels of corruption, embarrassing the party and complicating its once-a-decade-power transfer that began with the 18th Party Congress in November.
The brief Xinhua note on Wednesday did not mention the specific charges against Bo. But it did note that another high-level corruption case against former Minister of Railways Li Zhijun had also “been transferred to judicial organs.”
It also mentioned that nearly 4,700 Communist officials were punished by the party's discipline watchdogs in 2012, as part of its attempts at dealing with widespread corruption that, by its own admission, has become a threat to its rule.