China Starts Formal Criminal Probe into Bo Xilai

He's been expelled from parliament, which strips him of immunity from prosecution


China moved quickly on Friday to announce it had formally begun a criminal probe into disgraced former senior politician Bo Xilai, hours after expelling him from the largely rubber stamp parliament and so removing his immunity from prosecution.

The announcements pave the way for Bo, once a contender for top leadership in the world's second largest economy, to face trial and likely a long jail sentence on accusations of corruption and abuse of power.

A brief report by the state-run Xinhua news agency said state prosecutors had "decided to put Bo Xilai under investigation for alleged criminal offences".