Trial of ex-Communist Party star Bo Xilai to start Thurs.: Xinhua

The corruption trial of former Communist Party rising star Bo Xilai, who was expelled from the party last year in China's biggest political scandal in decades, will begin Thursday, official media reported Sunday.

Xinhua News Agency said Bo, former Communist Party leader of Chongqing municipality, will stand open trial at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in east China's Shandong Province on charges of bribery, graft and abuse of power.

According to indictment paper sent to the court on July 25, Bo took advantage of his position as Communist Party chief of Chongqing to seek profits for others and accepted an "extremely large amount" of money and properties, Xinhua reported earlier.

It said he also seriously harmed the interests of the state and people by embezzling a large amount of public money and abusing his power.

Bo was expelled from the party and public office last year after it became public that his wife, Gu Kailai, was linked to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Gu was later sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.

Before the scandal erupted, Bo had been tipped as a strong contender to become a member of the powerful Standing Committee of the ruling party's Politburo in the once-every-five-year leadership transition.