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Ousted Leader Bo Xilai Reported to Have Wiretapped China’s President

Six weeks after China's Bo Xilai disappeared under a cloud of corruption allegations and the death of a British national, The New York Times reported on Bo's use of wiretaps to spy on top Chinese officials, including President Hu Jintao. Margaret Warner reports on the latest turn in the dramatic story.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And to another scandal, this one reaching the top political leaders in China.

    Margaret Warner has our story.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    It's been six weeks since Bo Xilai, the one-time rising star of the Chinese Communist Party, was last seen in public.

    Since then, amid corruption allegations and a mysterious murder, the man who aspired to the Standing Committee of the Politburo, has been stripped of all his powers and positions for — quote — "serious discipline violations."

    And the story has continued to unfold. Today's New York Times reported that Bo used wiretaps to spy on other top Chinese leaders, including the president. Unnamed Chinese officials said Bo set up a widespread bugging system in the southwestern city of Chongqing, where he was Communist Party chief.

    Last August, the paper said, the bugging was detected electronically when a Beijing disciplinary official visited Chongqing and telephoned President Hu Jintao.

    Also implicated in the wiretapping, Bo's then-ally Wang Lijun, who was the city's police chief. In February, Wang fled to the U.S. consulate in nearby Chengdu after a falling out with Bo. And this month, Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was arrested as the main suspect in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. He was found dead in this Chongqing hotel last November.

    The furor has also extended to Bo's free-spending son, a student at Harvard. This week, he released a statement to Harvard's student newspaper denying that he was a party boy who owns a Ferrari. But, he wrote, "I understand that at the present, the public interest in my life has not diminished."

    The same holds true for his father and, seemingly, everyone connected to him, as the almost daily disclosures continue.