The trial of Bo Xilai, former Party chief of Chongqing municipality, is expected to open after the "two sessions" in March, a source close to the country's top judicial body told the Global Times Sunday, denying rumors that the trial would start on Monday in Southwest China's Guizhou Province.
"The information in terms of the date and location for the trial will certainly be made public in advance, and it's unnecessary to make speculations," the source said.
Hong Kong-based Takungpao newspaper reported on its website on Friday that the trial would open at Guiyang Intermediate People's Court on Monday, stirring up wide public attention. Bo was placed under investigation in April 2012 for disciplinary violations.
The report quoted insiders as saying that the trial would last three days and possibly wind up ahead of the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to be held in March. But the source told the Global Times that the trial might be very complicated and last up to 10 days.
"Due to the complexity, the case is likely to be heard after the annual 'two sessions'," he added.
Two lawyers, Wang Zhaofeng and Li Guifang with the Beijing Deheng Law Offices will defend Bo during the trial, an employee from the law firm confirmed with the Global Times on Sunday, adding that the two had been working on this case since December and had yet to receive any confirmation as to when and where the trial would take place.
Li Xiaolin, a lawyer from the Beijing-based W&H Law Firm, told the Global Times that Bo Guagua, Bo Xilai's son, entrusted the case to him in October but learnt in November that he had been replaced by other lawyers.
"Officials from the anti-graft bureau under the Supreme People's Procuratorate said it was decided by Bo's family," said Li Xiaolin.
Li Xiaolin, a criminal defense attorney, represented Zhang Xiaojun, an assistant to Bo's wife Bogu Kailai, who was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for intentional homicide in August, 2012.
According to the website of Deheng Law Offices, Li Guifang's area of expertise is dispute resolution while Wang is specialized in cases related to real estate and intellectual property disputes.
The case of Bo Xilai and his wife Bogu Kailai made international headlines since last year. Huang Qifan, mayor of Chongqing, said on Saturday that the city would shake off the impact of the Bo Xilai scandal and make law-abiding governance a priority alongside further reform while delivering a work report to the 4th Chongqing Municipal People's Congress.
The trial of Bogu Kailai took place in Hefei, Anhui Province in August 2012.
Yan Shuang contributed to the story