China's Communist Party leadership expelled disgraced politician Bo Xilai today and accused him of several charges ranging from corruption to sexual misconduct.
A statement from the party's Politburo amounted to a strong and wide-ranging indictment against its former member and regional party chief, who is to be charged with crimes including abuse of power, bribe taking and improper relations with several women.
He is also accused of involvement in the cover-up of his wife Gu Kailai's murder of a British businessman, which was instrumental in triggering his downfall.
"Bo Xilai's behaviour resulted in serious repercussions and enormous damage to the reputation of the party and the nation, producing extremely vile effects domestically and overseas, and causing heavy damage to the cause of the party and the people," the Politburo said in a statement.
The scandal was set off when a trusted Bo aide disclosed that his boss's wife had murdered a British businessman.
Mr Bo was sacked as party chief of the city of Chongqing. Ms Gu was given a suspended death sentence after confessing to the murder and the aide, Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun, received a 15-year prison term for initially covering up the murder.
The decision by the 25-member Politburo, of which Mr Bo had been a member, said that "investigations show that Bo had seriously violated party discipline ... abused his power, committed grave mistakes and should be held responsible for the Wang Lijun case as well as Gu's murder case."
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