- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bo Xilai, a former rising star in China’s Communist Party, was formally indicted this week on several charges related to bribery, corruption and abuse of power, state media reported Thursday.

His trial will commence within the next few weeks in the city of Jinan, The Guardian reported.

Mr. Bo, 64, was headed to the top of China’s political ranks when scandal struck and his wife, Gu Kailai, was implicated in 2012 in the murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood. She was convicted and sentenced to death in August. Mr. Bo was rumored to have helped his wife cover up the murder, but China didn’t include that allegation in the list of charges that were handed him Thursday.

State media Xinhua said prosecutors “accused Bo Xilai … [of taking] advantage of the privileges of his office to gain benefits for others and illegally [taking] money and items in extremely large amounts.” Chinese authorities also charged that he “embezzled an extremely large amount of public funds and abused his powers of office, causing heavy losses to the interests of the nation and the people in an extremely serious way,” the state media reported.

An expert on Chinese politics cited by The Guardian said China likely would push to wrap up the trial by fall, when heads of the nation’s government are set to gather for a major meeting.

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