Party throws out Bo Xilai

China's ruling Communist Party has expelled disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai from the party. He will also face criminal charges.

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Disgraced Chinese politician 'abused his powers'

Bo Xilai and his wife were at the centre of China's biggest scandal in decades Credit: ZY/RC

China's government has expelled disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai from the Communist Party and said it would hand him over for criminal investigation accused of multiples crimes.

Bo's wife and his former police chief have both been jailed over the scandal stemming from the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in the southwestern city of Chongqing, where Bo was Communist Party chief.

A statement by the Chinese state news agency Xinhua said Bo has "abused his powers of office, committed serious errors and bears a major responsibility".

Bo will face charges for corruption, abuse of power, bribe taking and improper relations with a number of women.

"Bo Xilai's actions created grave repercussions, and massively damaged the reputation of the party and the state," said the statement.

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Bo Xilai to face corruption charges

China announced that Bo Xilai has been expelled from the party Credit: Reuters

Chinese state media has announced that disgraced senior Communist party member Bo Xilai has been expelled from the party, and will face criminal charges of corruption, abuse of power, bribe taking and improper relations with a number of women.

Gu Kailai: 'This case has been a huge stone weighing on me'

Chinese state news agency Xinhua.net has quoted Gu Kailai as saying in her final statement:

This case has been like a huge stone weighing on me for more than half a year. What a nightmare.

During those days last November, I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy. The tragedy which was created by me was not only extended to Neil, but also to several families.

The case has produced great losses to the Party and the country, for which I ought to shoulder the responsibility, and I will never feel at ease. I am grateful to the humanitarian care shown to me by those who handled the case.

I solemnly tell the court that in order to maintain the dignity of the law, I will accept and calmly face any sentence and I also expect a fair and just court decision.

– Gu Kailai

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Reports: Gu Kailai will not appeal suspended death sentence

Speaking after Gu Kailai's sentence, court official Tang Yigan said that Gu and family aide, Zhang Xiaojun, had told the court they would not appeal their sentences.

Tang said Gu told the court that the verdict was "fair and it shows special respect for the law, reality and life."

He also said that the court had considered Gu's testimony against others, her confession and repentance, and her "psychological impairment" as mitigating factors in sentencing.

But he said it rejected claims that Heywood's threats had prompted the crime, saying there was no evidence he intended to make good on them.

Britain's embassy welcomes Gu Kailai ruling

Britain's embassy in China has welcomed the ruling that Gu Kailai has been convicted, but spared execution for murdering British businessman Neil Heywood. The embassy said it:

"Welcomed the fact that the Chinese authorities have investigated the death of Neil Heywood, and tried those they identified as responsible.

An embassy spokesman also said Britain had:

"Consistently made clear to the Chinese authorities that we wanted to see the trials in this case conform to international human rights standards and for the death penalty not to be applied.

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