The Supreme People's Procuratorate of China has officially put Bo Xilai, once a rising star of Chinese politics, under an investigation for suspected criminal offences, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
Bo, 63, was expelled from the Communist Party of China and stripped of his parliamentary status in late September on accusations of abuse of authority, graft and “mistaken staff decisions.” The expulsion and the annulment of his diplomatic immunity paved the way to open a criminal investigation against him.
Bo, a Politburo member from 2007 to 2012, made a name for himself through a combination of left-wing populism and personal charisma, a rarity on the Chinese political scene.
He was expected to become one of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s supreme governing body which is set to undergo a massive rotation in November as seven members are reaching retirement age.
However, Bo’s career was unraveled by the case against his wife Gu Kailai, who was convicted in August of poisoning a British businessman, an incident that Bo is accused of trying to cover up.
Following the scandal, Bo was removed from all posts. His downfall divided Chinese society and reportedly upset the balance of factions in the Politburo ahead of the reshuffle.