Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai will go on trial on Thursday, charged with bribery, corruption and abuse of power, according to state media.

Bo Xilai, formerly the Communist Party chief of Chongqing, was expelled from the party after a scandal surrounding the murder of a British businessman.

His wife Gu Kailai was jailed last August for the killing of Neil Heywood.

The Bo Xilai scandal rocked China with claims of corruption at the top of the Communist Party.

Mr Bo has been accused of taking advantage of his office to accept money and property, as well as embezzling public money.

The trial will start on Thursday morning at the Intermediate People’s Court in the eastern city of Jinan, Shandong province, state-run news agency Xinhua said.

Correspondents say it is common for high-profile political trials to take place away from their home province to stop them getting beneficial treatment.

The trial date comes amid a high-profile crackdown on corruption.

Xinhua news agency also reported on Sunday that Liu Tienan, a former top Communist Party economic official, has been placed under investigation for suspected bribe taking.

Allegations against Mr Liu emerged online in December, when a well-known journalist accused him of corruption.

Fall from grace

Mr Bo’s fall began in February 2012, when his former chief of police in Chongqing, Wang Lijun, briefly fled to the US consulate in Chengdu.

Wang, who has since been jailed for 15 years, triggered an investigation into the murder of UK businessman Neil Heywood.

Mr Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, has been convicted and given a suspended death sentence for Mr Heywood’s death.

Gu did not contest charges at her one-day trial that she poisoned Mr Heywood in November 2011.

Mr Bo was suspected of trying to cover up the murder, and was stripped of his party positions.

Analysts say the Chinese leadership has tried to minimise the political fallout from the case, which exposed deep divisions within its ranks.

The accusations against Mr Bo predate Xi Jinping’s time as national leader – but the Chinese president has since vowed to tackle corruption from the powerful “tigers” at the top to the “flies” at the bottom of the Communist Party.

Source:BBC