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Heavy Security Ahead Of Bo Xilai Trial In Eastern China

posted 21 Aug 2013, 18:29 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 Aug 2013, 18:30 ]

Security tightens outside a courthouse in eastern China as fallen Chinese leaderBo Xilai is to stand trial, accused of corruption, bribery and abuse of power in the most divisive scandal to hit the country in decades.

 JINAN CITY, SHANDONG PROVINCE, CHINA (AUGUST 22, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Heavy police presence surrounded a courthouse in eastern China on Thursday (August 22) where the trial of ousted politician Bo Xilai is to open, the final, dramatic chapter of the country's most politically charged case in more than three decades.

Hundreds of police officers were stationed in areas surrounding the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, capital of Shandong province, where Bo is set to appear in public for the first time in 17 months.

Security cordons and barriers were set up to block traffic in nearby streets and journalists were kept behind a barrier on the opposite side of the narrow street from the courthouse.

According to court officials, Bo's trial will open at 8:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) where he will face charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power.

Bo, the party chief in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, was a fast-rising star in China's leadership circles when his career was stopped short last year by a murder scandal involving his wife, Gu Kailai. Gu was accused, and later convicted, of the November 2011 murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, a business partner and family friend.

Bo is almost certain to be found guilty, given that China's prosecutors and courts come under Communist Party control and courts have a 98 percent conviction rate.