, BEIJING, July 30 – Corruption charges against disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai will date back to an earlier stage of his career, media reported Tuesday a narrow focus that could help contain political fallout from the case.
The downfall of Bo who ran the megacity of Chongqing and sat on the ruling Communist party’s 25 member Politburo marked China’s biggest political scandal in decades.
His glittering career came crashing down amid allegations that his wife later convicted of murder was involved in the death of a British businessman and he had sought to block the police investigation.
More than a year after the scandal broke, Bo was indicted last week for embezzlement, bribery and abuse of power, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
But according to a report Tuesday from the respected current affairs magazine Caijing, the 25 million yuan ($4.1 million) corruption charges against Bo stem from his time running the smaller city of Dalian in the 1990s, not Chongqing. It did not cite a source.
Analysts say given the length of his career and the high positions he reached it seemed implausible corruption would only affect Bo’s earlier, less powerful posts.
“When he was in Dalian he was able to take 25 million, could he possibly have stopped?” said China politics expert Steve Tsang, of the University of Nottingham, calling the concept “just not logical.”
But minimising the scope of charges avoided implicating others, exposing too much high level corruption or requiring a tougher sentence, he added.
“They want to make sure the Bo Xilai case can be managed in a way that is least damaging to the party,” Tsang said.