Former China politician Bo's trial could start this week: Source

China's Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai pauses during the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2012. The trial of Mr Bo, a disgraced Chinese politici
China's Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai pauses during the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2012. The trial of Mr Bo, a disgraced Chinese politician, could begin as early as this week, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The trial of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai could begin as early as this week, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The trial is most likely to take place in the eastern city of Jinan, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions for talking to a foreign reporter about elite politics.

Bo is likely to be tried on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

Bo was ousted from his post as Communist Party chief in the southwestern city of Chongqing last year after British businessman Neil Heywood's murder in November 2011.

Before that, Bo had been widely tipped to be promoted to the party's elite inner core.

His downfall came after his estranged police chief Wang Lijun fled briefly to a US consulate in the neighbouring city of Chengdu last February and accused Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, of poisoning Mr Heywood.

Gu and Wang have both been jailed.

Bo, a former commerce minister, used his post as Communist Party chief of Chongqing from 2007 to 2012 to cast the sprawling, haze-covered municipality into a showcase for his mix of populist policies and bold spending plans that won support from leftists yearning for a charismatic leader.

Rumours have swirled in China about Bo's fate, but the government has given no definitive word on progress into the investigation against him since late last year.