Following the announcement on Friday of Bo Xilai’s expulsion from the National People’s Congress, The Wall Street Journal’s Carlos Tejada reports the latest step in the process of bringing him to trial:
Xinhua late Friday said the Supreme People’s Procuratorate has decided to put Mr. Bo under investigation for alleged criminal offenses, as well as impose what it said were “coercive measures” on him in accordance with the law. It didn’t elaborate. The Supreme People’s Procuratorate investigates cases at the national level and prosecutes serious criminal cases.
The Bo case still requires a formal indictment before it moves to trial, making it increasingly unlikely that Mr. Bo’s fate will be decided before the Nov. 8 beginning of the 18th Party Congress, which kicks off the leadership change. Chinese leaders are thought to have been anxious to conclude the scandal surrounding Mr. Bo ahead of the congress, in part because his case raises uncomfortable questions about power and corruption.
Prior to the two announcements, Reuters spoke to Human Rights Watch’s Nicholas Bequelin, who said of the ongoing proceedings: “It’s theatre. The judiciary grinds into action only when the outcome has been determined. There is no indication we will see a genuine trial because Bo knows too much.”