Bo Xilai, left, and Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan attend a local party meeting in January. Huang has survived the fallout from the Bo affair. (Photo/CNS)
Bo Xilai, ousted in March as party secretary of Chongqing in China's southwest, will be convicted for "serious disciplinary violations" no later than this month, while his former right-hand man Wang Lijun will go on trial for treason next week, says Boxun, a Chinese-language citizen journalism site that is sourced mostly by anonymous users and frequently makes claims that are difficult to prove.
Chongqing authorities held a vote on Monday to decide the city's representatives for the 18th National Congress later this fall, which will see a once-in-a-decade change in China's top leadership. The municipality has been headed by Zhang Dejiang, a vice premier and Politburo member, after Bo was stripped of his leadership posts in the city on March 15, and suspended from other senior party positions on April 10.
The municipality deliberately postponed the election until Tuesday in a bid to avoid the aftermath of Bo's case overshadowing the forthcoming national congress, inside sources in Chongqing told Boxun.
Beijing will announce its verdict on Bo before the end of June and he will not be held accountable for the actions of his wife, Gu Kailai, who is accused of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood over a financial dispute last November, according to the source.
The insider said that in line with plans laid out by Bo before his downfall, the municipality is granting equal treatment to residents of outlying rural areas as to residents of urban districts from the first half of this year. The move was conceived by Wang Lijun, Bo's former right hand man and police chief who triggered the political storm by fleeing to the US consulate in Chengdu in February with details of the illegal practices of Bo and his wife.
Wang will go on trial for treason in Chengdu next week, Cheng Wei, a senior media figure, said on his Sina Weibo microblog early on Sunday morning, though without referring to Wang by name. The entry was deleted within six hours, but has caused fierce discussion on the internet in a case where much of what has been spread online as rumor has later proved to be true.
Earlier reports by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post in May said Beijing will try to end Wang's trial before August to lessen its influence over the 18th National Congress.
Bo Xilai 薄熙來
Wang Lijun 王立軍
Gu Kailai 谷開來
Huang Qifan 黃奇帆
Cheng Wei 程偉