Speculation seems to point in the direction of Wang being the last piece of the puzzle the Party wanted to square away before moving on to Bo himself, so now we have to wonder what exactly will happen next (via The Guardian):
China has spared the high-flying police chief whose flight to a US consulate led to the toppling of leader Bo Xilai, with a court in Chengdu handing him a relatively lenient 15 year jail sentence on Monday.
Wang Lijun, 52, had previously been Bo’s right hand man in Chongqing, winning plaudits for the pair’s populist anti-gang crackdown and earning a promotion to vice mayor.
State news agency Xinhua said the Chengdu intermediate people’s court found him guilty of defection, accepting bribes of at least 3 million yuan, abuse of power and bending the law to selfish ends by covering up the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood by Bo’s wife Gu Kailai.
Gu was last month handed a suspended death sentence for the crime, while an aide who helped her was jailed for nine years.
“[Fifteen years] was in the realm of expectations but I would say on the low end of what most people were expecting,” said Joshua Rosenzweig, an expert on the Chinese criminal justice system.
A subsequent report from state news agency Xinhua formally linked Bo to the case for the first time – raising the chances of him too facing trial.
Although it mentioned him only by position, rather than name, it described him scolding and hitting Wang after he alleged that Gu had murdered Heywood.