China has charged disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai with bribery, abuse of power and corruption.
The 64-year-old former Communist Party chief has not been seen in public for 17 months.
He was thrown out of the party after a scandal surrounding the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, a crime his wife Gu Kailai was jailed for in August, after receiving a suspended death sentence.
Bo’s expulsion revealed deep disagreements in the party between his leftist backers, who are nostalgic for the revolutionary era of Mao Zedong, and reformers, who advocate faster political and economic reforms.
Some China experts say the trial could still potentially be divisive.
Historian and political analyst Zhang Lifan said: “In a system where corruption has become the norm, any politician who loses ground in a power struggle could be accused of wrongdoings, and find himself in the midst of corruption charges. So, what is happening now only means that this person did not come out victorious in the power struggle.”
Bo could appear in court within weeks, capping one of China’s biggest ever political scandals.