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Fallen Chinese figure Bo goes on trial this week

BEIJING – Bo Xilai, a rising Communist Party star who fell from power last year, will go on trial Thursday on corruption charges, a court announced, putting China’s new leaders on course to wrap up a festering scandal as they try to cement their authority.

The former party secretary of the major city of Chongqing was dismissed last year in a scandal that saw his wife convicted of killing a British businessman.

Bo will stand trial in the Intermediate People’s Court of the eastern city of Jinan on charges of taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power, the court said in a one-sentence announcement Sunday on its microblog account. The announcement also was carried by the government’s Xinhua News Agency.

Until his downfall, Bo sat on the ruling party’s 25-member Politburo, and he is only the third politician at that level of seniority to be tried on graft charges in recent decades.

Political analysts say the charges against Bo appear to be carefully crafted to get rid of a political liability without raising questions about how the ruling party’s unchecked power enabled his misconduct.