Bo Xilai Expelled from Communist Party; China Vows ‘Justice’

Posted September 28th, 2012 at 7:05 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese state media say disgraced politician Bo Xilai, who is at the center of China's biggest political scandal in decades, has been kicked out of the country's Communist Party and will “face justice.”

The official Xinhua news agency said Bo, once considered a rising star in Chinese politics, will face charges including corruption, abuse of power, bribe taking, and “improper” relations with a number of women. It said Bo's actions “created grave repercussions, and massively damaged the reputation of the party and the state.”

Bo, who has not been seen or heard from in months, was stripped of his party posts earlier this year when authorities became aware of allegations that his wife, Gu Kailai, was involved in the murder of a British businessman.

In a separate report Friday, Xinhua said the 18th Party Congress, which will begin the sensitive process of transferring power to a new generation of Chinese leaders, will convene on November 8.

The scandal surrounding Bo has complicated the tightly scripted Communist Party power transfer, since Bo had widely been expected to attain a top position in the new leadership.

The long-awaited announcement regarding Bo's fate was made following a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party's Central Committee, which Xinhua says was held Friday.

Bo's wife, Gu Kailai has been convicted of poisoning British businessman, Neil Heywood, and is serving a suspended life sentence. Bo's former right-hand man and ex-police chief, Wang Lijun, was sentenced to 15-years in jail after being convicted of trying to cover up the murder.

But some have cast doubt on Beijing's official narrative of the scandal. This week, a top Chinese forensic expert said there is little evidence to indicate that Heywood died of cyanide poisoning, as the court documents against Wang and Gu suggest.

Wang Xuemi, a respected scientist with China's national prosecutor's office, said in a blog post that the testimony describing Heywood's death are inconsistent with what happens during a cyanide poisoning.

Observers say the outcomes of the blockbuster trials were almost certainly predetermined by the Communist Party, which exercises strict control over China's judicial system.