China Charges Former Party Star With Corruption

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 25 2013 11:18 AM

China Charges Former Communist Party Star With Corruption

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This photo taken on March 14, 2012, shows Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai during the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese authorities have finally charged former Communist Party star Bo Xilai for bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power. Bo, you may remember, was removed from his post in Chongqing last year and expelled from the party after his wife was found guilty of murdering a British businessman.

Today, the politician was indicted for corruption — mainly for seeking "profits for others" and accepting an "extremely large amount" of money and property, according to Chinese news outlet Xinhua. Here's the Wall Street Journal with more of the details on the charges:

He also embezzled a huge amount of public money and abused his power, seriously harming the interests of the state and people," the indictment said.… But an internal document issued by the party's General Office said Mr. Bo would be tried on charges of taking 20 million yuan ($3.2 million) in bribes via his wife, embezzling five million yuan, and abusing power, said a party official who received the document on Wednesday.
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Bo, who was known for his large-scale crackdown on crime and a campaign to promote China's old communist values — he revived mass singing of Maoist songs, for example — was seen by many as a charismatic, albeit controversial, politician. Though he has not yet gone to trial, the scandal has already irreparably damaged China's facade of perfect leadership while exposing major corruption and internal discord in the highest levels of the Communist Party.

Jennifer Lai is an associate editor at Slate.