21 August 2013
Last updated at 08:38
Bo Xilai was the charismatic party chief of Chongqing and a senior Communist Party leader before he was brought down by one of the biggest scandals to rock China in years. He is now facing bribery, corruption and abuse of power charges in a trial that starts on Thursday.
At the heart of Bo Xilai's dramatic fall from grace is the death of 41-year-old British businessman Neil Heywood. Believed to be a financial middleman for Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai, Mr Heywood was found dead at a Chongqing hotel in November 2011.
But suspicions were only raised in February 2012 when Bo Xilai's police chief, Wang Lijun, mysteriously sought refuge at a US consulate. That one act unleashed a series of events which eventually exposed the full extent of the scandal. Wang was convicted and jailed last year for defection, abuse of power and bribe taking.
Gu Kailai was convicted of Mr Heywood's murder in August 2012. She was said to have had him poisoned because of a conflict over economic interests.
Bo Xilai was at China's annual parliamentary session in Beijing in March 2012, shortly after his police chief's defection, but kept an unusually low profile amid swirling rumours. Days later he was removed from office and then disappeared from public view. His trial will be the first glimpse the public will have had of him since then.
It was a dramatic fall from grace for the ambitious and flamboyant party chief who, reports say, had his enemies among party leaders in Beijing.
Preparations are now under way amid tight security at the Intermediate People's Court in China's Jinan, Shandong province, where he will stand trial.
Bo Guagua, Bo Xilai's son, is currently in the US. Days before his father's trial, he said that he had not had any contact with his parents in 18 months and could only "surmise the conditions" of their "clandestine detention".
Now it remains to be seen how China's court will deal with one of the biggest political figures to be felled in recent years.