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.