BEIJING — His wife is in prison on a murder conviction with a suspended death sentence. His former right-hand man was just sentenced to 15 years in prison for covering up the crime and then trying to defect to the United States.
Somewhere, Bo Xilai awaits his fate. A popular and charismatic Communist Party ‘‘princeling’’ — considered a contender for a top spot in a revamped Politburo until the murder scandal erupted last year — Bo has not been seen since he was fired in March as party chief in Chongqing.
The Communist Party’s 18th Party Congress is set to inaugurate a new generation of leaders, led by Xi Jinping and an almost entirely new Politburo Standing Committee. But so far, no date has been set, leading many to speculate top leaders have not resolved the question of punishment, if any, for Bo.
‘‘If they don’t handle this problem well, it might threaten the stability of the party,’’ said Tie Liu, a journalist. He said he believed the party would opt for a mild administrative punishment.
Bo’s only known communication with his family since his ouster was a letter sent in April to his mother-in-law. Bo said he hoped to quietly read while waiting for his case to be resolved.