Timeline of Chinese politician Bo Xilai's downfall

Timeline of Chinese politician Bo Xilai's downfall

BEIJING - Key dates in the downfall of Bo Xilai, a former rising star in China's ruling Communist Party who now faces trial for bribery and abuse of power following a scandal that saw his wife convicted of murdering a British businessman.

NOVEMBER 2011

15: British businessman Neil Heywood is found dead in a hotel room in Chongqing, a sprawling municipality in southwestern China. Authorities rule the cause of death was a heart attack and his body is quickly cremated.

FEBRUARY 2012

2: Bo's right-hand man and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun is demoted.

6: Wang visits US embassy in Chengdu reportedly seeking political asylum.

7: Wang leaves US embassy of his own volition.

8: Wang is placed on sick leave for stress and over-work. Sick leave is a term often used as a euphemism for a political purge in China.

MARCH

2: State news agency Xinhua says Wang has been placed under investigation, giving no further details.

9: Bo publicly defends his wife during a press conference at the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress, or parliament.

15: Bo sacked from Chongqing party secretary position, with no reason given for his dismissal.

26: British government asks China to investigate Heywood's death. Rumours that Bo's wife Gu Kailai may have been involved begin to circulate.

APRIL

10: Bo is stripped of his position in the Communist Party's powerful 25-member Politburo and the wider Central Committee. Government says Gu is being investigated on suspicion of involvement in Heywood's murder.

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