Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Bo Xilai Saga Continues

We will soon know Bo Xilai's fate now that he has been indicted, trial to come.
After months of speculation, fallen Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai has finally been formally charged.

As reported earlier by a Hong Kong media outlet, Bo was indicted on criminal charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power, taking about $3.3 million in bribes and embezzling another almost $1 million as a senior official. The charges also claim the bribes came from Xu Ming, a billionaire from Dalian, where Bo had been mayor. Xu is also expected to be criminally charged.

The charges were filed today in a court in Jinan, capital of Shandong province. This now paves the way for a trial date to be set, which could be at a minimum only weeks away.

This latest development follows from the other formal announcements that were made last year; on March 15, Bo was removed at Chongqing party boss and then the following month on April 10 he was ousted by his colleagues in the Politburo and the party central committee. Finally on September 28 he was stripped of his party membership, thus allowing for a government criminal investigation.

These formalities were done because of Bo's "mistakes and responsibilities" regarding his police chief Wang Lijun who fled to the US Consulate in Chengdu and Bo's wife Gu Kailai who was convicted of murdering Briton Neil Heywood and is now serving a suspended death sentence or life in prison. Wang was convicted of defection and is serving 15 years in jail.

Bo's case is a highly complex one, and as some legal experts note, his lawyers apparently haven't been allowed to see him yet. How is this rule of law for such a high profile case?

There is also speculation to what extent Bo's trial will be made public. Will it be a show trial like his wife's? Swift or extensive? Will Bo follow the script or will he talk off the cuff and spill more secrets during his testimony?

We will be awaiting to see when his trial date is, which could be as early as mid-August. It will finally be the beginning of the end of the Bo saga, that has gripped China and the rest of the world with corruption, power, sex and money. Did we mention his kid Bo Guagua is probably holed up somewhere in the United States, probably for the rest of his life?

The intrigue continues...

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