Police chief who highlighted the Heywood murder scandal is charged

China says the former police chief at the heart of the country's biggest political scandal in years has been charged with defection, power abuse, and bribe taking.

Wang Lijun's flight to the US consulate was deemed to constitute defection.

This led to the dismissal of the city's powerful communist party boss Bo Xilai and the conviction of Bo's wife for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

The official Xinhua News Agency gave no immediate details about the charges against Lijun, but the announcement indicates a trial will come soon, moving the scandal closer to a resolution before a key transition to a new generation of national leaders this autumn.