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China to begin Bo Xilai trial this week

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai will stand open trial this week on charges of bribery, graft and abuse of power, China's state media reported on Sunday.

The Thursday trial of Bo, the former Chongqing Communist Party chief who was ousted last year, marks China's biggest political scandal in recent decades. The trial is expected to allow the party to wrap up the Bo case and consolidate its authority.

"Bo Xilai will stand open trial at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court next week for charges of bribery, graft and abuse of power," Xinhua news agency reported, citing the court. 

"The open trial will start at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 22 in its 5th courtroom," the brief report said.

Bo was ousted from the post in March last year after his wife, Gu Kailai, and his police chief, Wang Lijun, were jailed over the November 2011 murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Gu was convicted for murdering Heywood and received a suspended death sentence.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who took office in March, is ramping up his campaign against corruption.

Separately, Xinhua also reported Sunday that Liu Tienan, a former vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, has been probed over allegations of taking bribes. (Yonhap News)

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