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China Charges Ex-Police Chief Who Revealed Bo Xilai Scandal

  • VOA News

Chongqing city police chief Wang Lijun (Oct 2011 file photo)

Chongqing city police chief Wang Lijun (Oct 2011 file photo)

Chinese state media say a former police chief who revealed details of a major Communist Party scandal has been charged with attempted defection, abuse of power, and taking bribes.

The official Xinhua news agency says prosecutors in the central city of Chengdu filed the charges against Wang Lijun after interrogating him and hearing the opinion of his defense lawyer. It did not say where or when he will face trial.

Wang was the public security chief of the nearby city of Chongqing in February when he fled to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu to inform American diplomats about a murder scandal involving the wife of his powerful boss, Bo Xilai. Wang had lost favor with Bo prior to seeking refuge at the consulate. He left the consulate hours later and was detained by Chinese authorities.

Wang's revelation prompted China's leadership to remove Bo as party chief of Chongqing in March for unspecified disciplinary violations. Previously, Bo had been a rising star in the ruling party and a candidate for promotion.

Chinese authorities put Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, on trial on charges of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood last November in a dispute over money. A Chinese court convicted her of the charge last month and sentenced her to death with a two-year reprieve, likely sparing her from execution.

Xinhua said prosecutors believe Wang knew of Gu's involvement in the Heywood murder before fleeing to Chengdu, but kept quiet and "bent the law for personal gain" so that Gu would not be held legally responsible. It said Wang later left his Chongqing post without authorization and "defected" to the United States.

The scandal embarrassed the ruling Communist Party as it prepares for a once-in-a-decade leadership transition later this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.