We’ve had false alarms before, so this should be taken with a grain of salt, but the South China Morning Post reports that disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai will soon face public trial in Shandong. Bo will reportedly be charged with bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power.
Notably absent from the charges is Bo’s reported complicity in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, unless that gets bundled along with “abuse of power.” Bo has not been seen in public since March of 2012, and has reportedly grown a chest-length prison beard in the interim, but his wife Gu Kailai was tried in August and received a suspended death sentence.
South China Morning Post reports:
Li Zhuang, a former Beijing-based lawyer who made his name defending an alleged triad boss in Chongqing during Bo’s heyday, confirmed details of the case last night.
He said Bo was accused of receiving more than 20 million yuan (HK$25.1 million) in bribes and embezzling another five million yuan. […]
In addition to bribery, the government said he had maintained “improper sexual relationships with a number of women”, an accusation not mentioned in yesterday’s meetings.
Li Xiaolin , a Beijing- based lawyer who has represented Bo, said he was likely to receive a life sentence or suspended death sentence at most.
He said it would be unusual for such a high-ranking official to be executed.
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the trial, but one thing is assured: Bo will be convicted (eventually, and of something) and we the public will have no idea what the hell really happened.