Asia

Lawyers: Murder trial of Bo's wife opens Thursday in China

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2007 file photo, Bo Xilai, right, then China's Minister of Commerce, and his wife Gu Kailai, left, attend a memorial ceremony for Bo's father Bo Yibo, a late revolutionary leader considered one of communist China's founding fathers, at a military hospital in Beijing. Gu could go on trial in the coming days, after being formally charged with the murder of a British businessman who was a close associate of the Bo family. The murder is at the center of a messy political scandal that has highlighted divisions in the Chinese leadership ahead of a once-a-decade political transition in 2012. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2007 file photo, Bo Xilai, right, then China's Minister of Commerce, and his wife Gu Kailai, left, attend a memorial ceremony for Bo's father Bo Yibo, a late revolutionary leader considered one of communist China's founding fathers, at a military hospital in Beijing. Gu could go on trial in the coming days, after being formally charged with the murder of a British businessman who was a close associate of the Bo family. The murder is at the center of a messy political scandal that has highlighted divisions in the Chinese leadership ahead of a once-a-decade political transition in 2012. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan, File)  (AP2007)

Two lawyers say the murder trial of the wife of ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai will start next Thursday in Hefei city in east China. The date is a sign the case is advancing before China's once-a-decade political transition later this year.

The lawyers close to the case spoke to The Associated Press on Friday. They requested anonymity because Chinese authorities would likely sanction anyone who discloses details about the tightly controlled case.

Gu Kailai and a family aide are accused of murdering a British businessman. The ensuing political scandal has highlighted factions in the Chinese leadership.

The murder case surfaced after the police chief who served under Bo, then the party chief in Chongqing city, went to a U.S. consulate. Bo is under investigation for unspecified discipline violations.