Former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai will soon stand trial, according to South China Morning Post’s Keith Zhai and Choi Chi-yuk, to face charges including embezzling five million yuan and accepting bribes amounting to more than twenty million.
The news was revealed by sources with knowledge of internal meetings held yesterday in Bo’s former power base of Chongqing and other cities.
The meetings to detail formal charges against the former Chongqing party secretary were seen as the final step before proceeding with the long-anticipated trial.
[…] Bo, as a former member of the Politburo, was widely seen as a champion of the party’s conservative wing and his downfall thrust the party into one of its worst political crises in decades. Analysts said the internal announcement of the trial was made as Beijing rushes to wind up the scandal before the meeting of the third plenum of the Central Committee expected this autumn.
“The plenum meeting will set the tone for future reform plans, but the case of Bo is an issue left over from history and might interfere with the general direction of the meeting,” said political analyst Chen Ziming, who expected a trial next month. [Source]
A leaked propaganda directive from the State Council Information Office instructed websites on Tuesday, “without exception, delete pro-Bo [Xilai] messages on interactive platforms, including forums and weibo.”
Last November’s 18th National Party Congress was previously suggested as a deadline for Bo’s trial, while reports earlier this year claimed a three-day trial would be held in late January. According to other rumors, Bo refused to cooperate with the investigation against him, staging hunger strikes and growing a chest-length protest beard.