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Bo Xilai charged with bribery, embezzlement, power abuse in China

July 25, 2013 at 1:03 AM   |   Comments

BEIJING, July 25 (UPI) -- Chinese prosecutors Thursday charged Bo Xilai, once a rising star in the Communist party hierarchy, with bribery, embezzlement and power abuse.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the indictment paper was delivered to the Jinan City Intermediate People's Court in east China's Shandong province, indicating Bo's long-awaited trial could soon get under way.

Bo, 64, head of the Chinese Communist Party in Chongqing province who was seen as likely to reach the top of the leadership ladder, precipitously fell from grace last year over a series of scandals that had rocked the country. His downfall included being expelled from the party and removal from public office by the Political Bureau of the party Central Committee as accusations against him piled up.

He was arrested in March 2012 and since then has not been seen in public.

Xinhua quoted the indictment as saying Bo as a civil servant took advantage of his position to seek profits for others and accepted an "extremely large amount" of money and properties. He was also accused of embezzling "a huge" amount of public money, abusing his power, seriously harming the interests of the state and people.

The report said Bo was informed of his legal rights and his attorneys also delivered their opinions.

The case of Bo is one more for China's new leadership led by President Xi Jinping, which has vowed to severely crack down on official corruption, openly recognized by the leaders as being so widespread that it is threatening the country's economic stability and causing much outrage among the people.

Xinhua did not say when Bo's trial would start, but it is expected to be soon.

Earlier, the South China Post quoted Beijing lawyer Li Zhuang as saying Bo had been accused of taking more $3.2 million in bribes and embezzling $814,000.

While Bo remained in custody, his prominent wife, Gu Kailai, and Bo's former police chief both were sentenced to long prison terms last year in a murder case resulting from the poisoning of British businessman Neil Heywood.

A family associate was quoted as telling The New York Times Bo could also be charged with abuse of power in Heywood's death.

Topics: Xi Jinping
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