Wang Lijun, ex-police chief involved in Bo Xilai scandal, charged with defection
Wang Lijun, former police chief at the centre of China’s biggest political scandal for years, has been charged with a number of offences, Chinese state media says.
Wang Lijun is charged with defection, abuse of power, and bribe-taking.
He briefly fled to a US consulate in February, triggering a series of events that led to the downfall of the powerful politician Bo Xilai.
Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai, has since been given a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Bo Xilai had been tipped for promotion to China’s highest leadership this year.
Wang Lijun was the former police chief of the south-western Chinese city of Chongqing and had a reputation for being tough on organized crime.
In early February, the Chongqing city government said Wang Lijun had been shifted to another job.
Four days later, he fled to the US consulate in Chengdu, near Chongqing, where many believe he sought asylum.
He spent the night there but was persuaded to leave a day later. He gave himself up to police and has been in detention since then.
According to the UK Foreign Office, Wang Lijun made allegations about Neil Heywood’s death while at the consulate.
Shortly afterwards, Bo Xilai was sacked as Chongqing’s Communist party chief, and his wife Gu Kailai was accused and later convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.
The charges against Wang Lijun appear to be an attempt to bring the scandal to an end before China embarks on a change of leadership later this year.
- 52-year-old former deputy mayor and police chief of Chongqing in south-west China
- Closely identified with the former chief of Chongqing Communist Party, Bo Xilai
- Developed a reputation for being tough on organized crime
- Started his career in law enforcement in 1984 in the Inner Mongolia region; moved to Chongqing in 2008
- Was the subject of a TV drama Iron-Blooded Police Spirits
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