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Bo's close aide charged with attempting to defect to US

September 05, 2012 22:38 IST

The ex-police chief at the centre of China's biggest political scandal in years that rocked the ruling the Communist Party ahead of a key party meet to select new leadership has been charged with defection to the United States and abuse of power, the state-media reported on Wednesday.

52-year-old Wang Lijun, who was the former police chief of the south-western Chongqing city and close to disgraced party leader Bo Xilai, was charged weeks after prosecution of Bo's wife for murdering a British businessman.

Wang, also the former vice mayor of Chongqing, the city headed by Bo till early this year, has been charged with bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking by the Chengdu City People's Procuratorate, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

The prosecuting body filed the charges against Wang with the intermediate people's court of Chengdu City, the capital of southwest Sichuan Province.

Bo's wife Gu Kailai was prosecuted by a court at Hefei City where she was given a suspended death sentence and 14-year in prison.

Wang, who tried to investigate the Gu's involvement in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in November barged into US Consulate in Chengdu and reportedly sought asylum fearing reprisals from former party strongman Bo.

His entry into the a diplomatic mission of the US regarded with considerable hostility in China sealed fate of Bo, a charismatic leader became famous all over China for attempting to revive party founder Mao Zedong's hard-line ideology, playing up the rich and poor divide.

He was in the race for top leadership position in the key Communist Party Congress to be held here in the next few weeks to elect new leaders to replace the present leadership headed by President Hu Jintao.

Gu admitted her role in the murder and accepted the verdict, while Bo who was sacked from all posts is awaiting the verdict of the party's discipline wing.

He too was expected to go on trial later for misusing his position.

Gu's orderly and four top police officials of Chongqing municipality have already been convicted for aiding Gu in Heywood murder.

The Chengdu City intermediate people's court has accepted the case and will hold a trial at a later date, the report said.

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