29 Sep 2012

Chinese politician expelled and facing charges

6:07 am on 29 September 2012

Top Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been expelled from the Communist Party and will face justice, according to state media.

Mr Bo, the former Communist Party leader in the city of Chongqing, is accused of abuse of power and corruption.

His wife, Gu Kailai, was given a suspended death sentence in August this year for murdering British national Neil Heywood last year after a multi-million dollar business deal turned sour.

The scandal has overshadowed the party congress that will oversee China's change of leadership. It will begin on 8 November, state media have announced.

The BBC reports the Bo Xilai announcement ends months of speculation over the fate of a man who was once one of China's most powerful politicians. China wanted to try to end the damaging revelations, with the once-in-a-decade leadership change looming.

Mr Bo's career has ended and he will almost certainly spend time in jail.

The 63-year-old has not been seen in public since mid-March, shortly after the scandal erupted and it was announced that he was under investigation. He was suspended from his party posts in April.

Reporting an official statement from a party leaders' meeting, state news agency Xinhua said Mr Bo stood accused of corruption, abuse of power, bribe-taking and improper relations with women.

The statement said Mr Bo "took advantage of his office to seek profits for others and received huge bribes personally and through his family".

Mr Bo's supporters have claimed from the start that he is being framed by his political enemies.