Beijing: In one of the biggest political scandals in China, a former police chief of Chongqing, linked to politician Bo Xilai and his convicted wife Gu Kailai, will be tried publicly for abuse of power, violating laws and accepting bribes.
Wang Lijun, also a former vice mayor of Chongqing, one of the four directly-controlled municipalities in the country along with Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, will be tried Tuesday, the Global Times reported.
The trial will be held at the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court in Sichuan province.
Experts told the daily that Wang was likely to face the death penalty with a reprieve or life imprisonment if found guilty.
The Wall Street Journal said Wang had been indicted for defection, taking massive bribes, illegally using surveillance technology, and shielding Gu Kailai, wife of Chongqing's former party chief Bo Xilai, from criminal investigation for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Gu was convicted in August of the murder and given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, a penalty which lawyers say is usually commuted to a life sentence in prison.
Bo Xilai remains under investigation by the ruling party's disciplinary branch for unspecified violations of discipline.
The Telegraph said Wang knew that Gu was under serious suspicion of murdering Heywood, but "consciously neglected his duty and bent the law for personal gain" so that Gu would not be held responsible.
Wang later "left his post without authorisation and defected to the US Consulate General in Chengdu". It was not known if he made a request for asylum.
Wang had been Bo's right-hand man in Chongqing, spearheading a controversial crackdown on organised crime that critics say featured torture and other violations of procedure, as well as illegal confiscation of assets and targeting of political opponents.
First Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012, 19:28