Former Chinese Politburo member and Chongqing communist party chief Bo Xilai has been formally charged with bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
An indictment paper was delivered Thursday to Jinan City Intermediate People’s Court in China’s northeastern Shandong province, Xinhua reported.
Bo was charged with accepting an “extremely large amount” of money and properties, as well as taking advantage of his position in order to benefit others in his circle, Xinhua said.
“He also embezzled a huge amount of public money and abused his power, seriously harming the interests of the state and people,” Xinhua said, citing the paper.
The report noted that Bo had been informed of his legal rights and interviewed by prosecutors, and his defending counsels had delivered their opinions.
The Asian Lawyer reported in January that Beijing-based DeHeng Law Offices partners Li Guifang and Wang Zhaofeng were retained as defense lawyers for Bo.
While the Xinhua report did not mention a start date for the trial, the Wall Street Journal cited a person directly involved in the case as saying it would begin in mid- to late August.
Bo fell from grace last year after a top deputy sought refuge in the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu and accused Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, of being behind the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. The scandal broke just prior to the Communist Party’s once-a-decade leadership transition last March and focused attention on corruption among China’s top government officials.
Gu was convicted of the Heywood murder last August and given a suspended death sentence.