|Bo Xilai’s perilous path to ruin and jail
The following are key dates in the downfall of Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party chief in Chongqing.
- 15: British businessman Neil Heywood is found dead in a hotel room in Chongqing. Authorities rule the cause of death was a heart attack and his body is quickly cremated.
- 2: Bo's right-hand man and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun is demoted.
- 6: Wang visits US embassy in Chengdu reportedly seeking political asylum. After leaving of his own volition the next day, he is placed on sick leave for stress and over-work. “Sick leave'' is often used as a euphemism for a political purge in China.
- 2: Xinhua says Wang has been placed under investigation, giving no further details.
- 9: Bo publicly defends himself and his wife Gu Kailai during a news conference at annual meeting of the National People's Congress, China's parliament.
- 15: Bo sacked from position as Chongqing party secretary, with no reason given for his dismissal.
- 26: British government asks China to investigate Heywood's death.
- 10: Bo is stripped of his position in the Communist Party's 25-member Politburo and the wider Central Committee. Government says Gu is being investigated on suspicion of involvement in Heywood's murder.
- 26: Gu and Zhang Xiaojun, a family employee, are charged with killing Heywood.
- 20: Gu is handed a suspended death sentence for murder. The sentence is usually commuted to life in prison.
- 5: Wang is charged with defection, taking bribes and abuse of power. An indictment quoted by state media said Wang had “known beforehand'' that Gu was under “serious suspicion'' of murdering Heywood, without taking action.
- 24: Wang is sentenced to 15 years in prison following a two-day trial in which he does not contest the charges against him.
- 28: State media say Bo has been expelled from the party and will ``face justice''.
- 26: Bo is expelled from State Council, removing his immunity from prosecution.
- 25: Bo charged with bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power.
- 22: Bo goes on trial at the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern city of Jinan.
- 26: The five-day trial ends after Bo mounts a feisty defense amid lurid allegations surrounding his family's lavish lifestyle.
- 22: Bo is sentenced to life in prison, banned from politics for life and has all his property confiscated.—AFP