Wang Lijun, the former police chief at the center of the scandal that felled senior Chinese leader Bo Xilai, was charged Wednesday with bribe-taking, defection and abuse of power, The New York Times reported. Wang, also a vice mayor of Chongqing, was not charged with the more serious crime of treason, which often results in the death penalty. Four police chiefs under Wang have already been convicted of aiding in the cover-up. Wang fled to the US Consulate in Chengdu in February, where he told US diplomats that Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, murdered British businessman Neil Heywood, sparking China’s biggest political scandal in a generation. Gu was convicted last month of poisoning Heywood and given a suspended death sentence, tantamount to life in prison. Analysts said the way charges were laid out against Wang suggests that Bo may be treated relatively leniently when he faces trial.
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