Last week, ousted Chinese Communist Party politician Bo Xilai was expelled from the Party, and it was announced that he would be criminally investigated.
Yet official media was silent about where the trial would take place, and where Bo himself was. He disappeared into the custody of central authorities in March, after the dawning of a complex scandal that's still unfolding. So far, it involves murder, massive corruption, and "inappropriate sexual relationships", plus other crimes.
So where is Bo exactly? Hong Kong-based media Mingpao has reported this week that he is housed at the Kuangou Guest House of Huairou district, about 30 miles northeast of Beijing. It's essentially a secluded courtyard-style dwelling.
Mingpao says once Bo is criminally charged, he could be transferred to Qincheng Prison, where his wife Gu Kailai is also believed to be imprisoned. A former detainee at Qincheng Prison has told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that senior officials held there live in relative comfort. Their cells are large and equipped with a writing desk, bathroom, and washing machine, and some can read and watch TV on a daily basis.
Mainland Chinese human rights lawyer Li Xiangyang says this is a far cry from how dissidents or “common folk” are treated.
[Li Xiangyang, Chinese Human Rights Lawyer]:
"Qincheng Prison is as luxurious as a five-star hotel. It is a retreat for sacked senior officials who still get to enjoy special treatment, personal security, and entertainment facilities."
Bo Xilai’s downfall came as a surprise to many China observers. The former Party Secretary of Chongqing was once tipped to enter the top ruling circle of the Communist Party during this year’s leadership transition. NTD is amongst the few media that have predicted Bo’s disgraced exit from power, given his alleged involvement in gross human rights abuses, including the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.
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