Sunday, November 4, 2012

China formally expels disgraced politician Bo Xilai from party

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's leaders ended their latest closed-door conclave on Sunday with a decision to formally expel disgraced politician Bo Xilai from the party, paving the way for his criminal prosecution, state media said on Sunday.

China's ruling Communist Party ratified the expulsion from the party of Bo, former Chongqing party boss, and also Liu Zhijun, one-time railway minister, who was sacked last year for "serious disciplinary violations", state news agency Xinhua said at the close of the secret four-day meeting.

Their expulsions were the latest in a string of punishments doled out by a party keen to show it is clamping down on official corruption just days ahead of a five-yearly party congress expected to usher in a new generation of leaders.

The "seventh plenary session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Sunday endorsed a decision ... to expel Bo Xilai", Xinhua said in a brief report.

The government accused Bo in September of corruption and of bending the law to hush up his wife's murder of a British businessman. He has yet to be formally charged.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, Additional reporting by Koh Gui Qing, Judy Hua and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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