Christopher Bodeen of the Associated Press details the “knotty choice” facing China’s top leaders as they determine not when but how to deliver the knockout blow to former Chongqing mayor Bo Xilai – whether by public trial or behind closed closed doors:
Analysts and a veteran party member say leaders are leaning toward a trial. But either way, the challenge is to prevent lurid allegations that Bo abused his power and that his wife was involved in the murder of a British businessman from upsetting a once-a-decade leadership transition just months away.
“Bo’s political life is at an end,” said Li Datong, a longtime state media editor forced from a senior editing job for broaching sensitive subjects. “But the party will work to ensure that this goes no bigger and harms their image no more than absolutely possible.”
After months of investigation and high-level deliberations, leaders believe a trial will have more public legitimacy, according to analysts and a veteran party member who has been informed of progress in the talks and who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of discussing the party’s inner workings.
The Communist Party’s internal investigators are working with prosecutors to whittle down the charges to portray Bo’s infractions as individual acts unrelated to the system, the party member said.