(Reuters) - China charged disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai with bribery, abuse of power and corruption on Thursday, paving the way for a trial, the final chapter in a scandal that has rocked the political establishment in the world's second-largest economy.
Here is a list of the key players in the scandal and what has happened to them:
Bo, 64, is a son of late vice-premier Bo Yibo, making the younger Bo a "princeling" - the term used for children of incumbent, retired or late revolutionary leaders.
Rising up through the ranks of the ruling Communist Party he became mayor of the prosperous northeastern city of Dalian in 1993 before being promoted to governor of Liaoning province, in which Dalian lies, in 2000.
He was commerce minister from 2004-2007, when he was appointed Communist Party boss of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing. He was in that job until he was sacked in March 2012 following lurid accusations about his wife's role in the murder of a British businessman the year before.
He has not been seen in public since he was dismissed and is believed to be under detention at an undisclosed location.
Bo's wife Gu was a glamorous, high-flying lawyer before being accused and later convicted of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
In August last year, Gu was given a suspended death sentence, which effectively means life in prison, for murdering Heywood.
At her trial, Gu admitted to poisoning Heywood in November 2011, and alleged that a business dispute between them led him to threaten her son, Bo Guagua, according to official accounts published by state media.
It is not known for certain where she has been jailed.
Wang was Bo's police chief during his time in Chongqing, and a self-styled crusader against organized crime.
On February 6 last year, Wang brought the Heywood murder scandal to the surface in typically dramatic fashion.
According to prosecutors, he fled to the U.S. consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu in an asylum attempt after confronting Bo with evidence implicating Gu in the death of Heywood, once a friend of the Bo family.
After first helping Gu evade suspicion of poisoning Heywood, Wang then hushed up evidence of the murder, according to the official account of Wang's trial. In late January 2012, Wang confronted Bo but was rebuked and slapped.
Wang spent about 24 hours inside the consulate before being collected by Chinese central government authorities.
Wang was jailed in September last year for 15 years for trying to cover up the murder of Heywood.
It is also not known for certain where he has been jailed.
Bo's son Guagua was educated at an elite British public school before going on to study at Oxford and Harvard.
Since graduating from Harvard in May last year with a master's degree in public policy, Guagua has kept a low profile, in contrast to reports earlier of a playboy lifestyle in the United States that created a firestorm on the Internet back in China.
Guagua is believed to still be living in the United States, from where he has occasionally offered defense of his father. He was among the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April, when home-made pressure cooker bombs exploded, killing three people. Guagua was not hurt.
PATRICK HENRI DEVILLERS
A French architect who now lives in Cambodia, Devillers entered Bo's inner circle while living in Dalian in the 1990s when Bo, who was mayor of the city at the time, helped him chase up an unpaid debt.
Devillers was detained in June last year and held for several weeks at an unknown location by Cambodian police before he went to China on his own volition the following month, apparently to help in the investigation into Gu.
It was not known what details he provided to Chinese police.
He returned to Cambodia in August last year.
(Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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