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BEIJING: Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been expelled from the country’s parliament and stripped of his legal immunity, clearing the way for his prosecution, state media said yesterday.
The announcement follows intense speculation on the fate of the former party boss of the southwestern city of Chongqing in the lead-up to a once-in-a-decade leadership transition set to begin on November 8.
State news agency Xinhua said the Standing Committee of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) removed Bo from his post late last month, but made the announcement only yesterday at a bi-monthly session.
“According to the law on the deputies to NPC and to local people’s congresses, his post was terminated,” Xinhua said, quoting a statement from the standing committee at the end of a four-day meeting.
The report also said that Bo had “borne major responsibility” for the murder of a British businessman that resulted in his downfall, without elaborating.
The focus will now shift to when Bo will face trial for a litany of alleged crimes, with most commentators suggesting the court case will be after the Communist Party Congress next month at which new leaders will be selected.
Li Xiaolin, a lawyer who had been appointed by the Bo family, told the reporters yesterday that he did not expect the court case to be held until after the party congress.
Party chiefs are set to meet for the Communist Party Central Committee’s 7th Plenary Session on November 1 to formally approve the convening of the congress and confirm the decision made last month to remove Bo from the party.