China's Bo Xilai stripped of last official title, paving way for prosecution

Once considered a top contender for the Politburo, Bo Xilai was stripped of his legislative membership.

Story highlights

  • Bo Xilai, a former high-flying leader, has dramatically fallen from grace this year
  • He has been removed from his top jobs and his wife has been convicted in slaying
  • Now, authorities have stripped him of legislative membership

Chinese authorities have stripped disgraced former leader Bo Xilai of his legislative membership, his last official title, paving the way for criminal prosecution of a once rising political star whose spectacular fall has thrown the ruling Communist Party into its biggest crisis in decades.

The People's Congress of Chongqing, a southwestern metropolis governed by Bo until early this year, removed his delegate status in accordance with law, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported Friday.

The announcement comes ahead of the 18th National Congress in Beijing next month that will set out who will occupy the top positions in the government hierarchy, part of a once-in-decade leadership transition.

On China: Bo Xilai
On China: Bo Xilai


    On China: Bo Xilai


On China: Bo Xilai 02:02
Bo Xilai insider goes public
Bo Xilai insider goes public


    Bo Xilai insider goes public


Bo Xilai insider goes public 04:00
Timeline: Bo Xilai's downfall
Timeline: Bo Xilai's downfall


    Timeline: Bo Xilai's downfall


Timeline: Bo Xilai's downfall 01:23

Bo was expelled from the Communist Party and the government last month, after being stripped of leadership positions in April.

He once was considered a top contender for the Politburo Standing Committee, the team of nine politicians who effectively rule China, but the news report on his expulsion last month painted a portrait of corruption, abuse of power and improper sexual relationships.

The news report last month said Bo made "severe mistakes" related to the killing of a British businessman -- a crime for which his wife was imprisoned -- and a diplomatic incident involving his former police chief in Chongqing, Xinhua said.

Investigators cited influence peddling, bribery and womanizing, new details found in the course of the party's investigation. "Bo had or maintained improper sexual relationships with a number of women," the state news agency said.

      Bo Xilai scandal

    • chinese.politician.sentenced_00023923.jpg

      What we learned from Bo trial

      Political science professor Yuhua Wang says he's surprised by the severity of the life sentence given to Chinese politician Bo Xilai.
    • This screen grab taken from state television CCTV footage broadcast on August 24, 2013 shows ousted Chinese political star Bo Xilai (C) speaking in the courtroom as he stands trial at the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, China.

      Bo anticipated prison in letter

      In a letter to his family, the disgraced Communist Party leader reiterated his innocence but said he expected a lengthy prison sentence.
    • Was the trial of Bo Xilai (right) any more transparent than that of Jiang Qing and the "Gang of Four"?

      From the Gang of Four to Bo Xilai

      CNN Beijing bureau chief Jaime Florcruz compares his experience covering Bo's trial with a similarly explosive story in the early 1980s -- the "Gang of Four" trial.
    • This picture taken on September 29, 2008 shows the then Chongqing mayor Bo Xilan attending the "Ode to Motherland" singsong gathering in Chongqing. China's once high-flying communist politician Bo Xilai has been indicted for bribery and abuse of power, state media said on July 25, 2013 following a scandal that exposed deep divisions at the highest levels of government. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

      Was Bo's trial truly transparent?

      While Chinese state media hailed the Bo Xilai trial as a show of "historic transparency," analysts saw its theatrics as part of a high-profile show trial.
    • This frame grab taken from Chinese television CCTV shows on September 18, 2012 shows former police chief Wang Lijun (R) facing the court during his trial in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province. The former police chief who set off China's biggest political scandal in years "did not contest" charges including defection and bribery at his trial, which ended on September 19, a court in Chengdu said. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO / CCTV

      Trial concludes with 'crush' claims

      The trial of Bo Xilai concluded with claims from Bo that his former police chief had a crush on his wife, Gu Kailai, who is serving time for murder.
    • Gu Kailai: Wife, lawyer, murderer

      The wife of a high-profile Chinese politician found guilty of murder has been described as funny, personable, attractive and charismatic.
    • Wang Lijun pictured last year at the National People's Congress in Beijing.

      The police chief at heart of scandal

      The trigger of China's biggest political scandal in a generation, Wang Lijun was once a feared police chief whose crime fighting exploits inspired a TV series.
    • pkg grant inside china heywood hotel mystery_00002515

      Inside murder mystery hotel

      A run-down hotel on the outskirts of Chongqing is the unlikely setting for a murder mystery. CNN's Stan Grant looks inside.