China's National People's Congress Standing Committee has moved for the inevitable on Friday, it struck out the name of Bo Xilai from the list of deputies serving in the foremost Chinese legislative body.
The development was announced today by China's state news agency Xinhua, according to the UK-based The Telegraph, reportedly saying that Mr Bo's term has been 'terminated' but stopped short of issuing further details.
Analysts, however, viewed the news as strong suggestions of more ominous things to come for the populist Chinese politician, who only a year ago was tipped by China watchers as likely to occupy a secured seat in the country's powerful Politburo, composed of few men actually wielding the power to govern the world's second biggest economy.
His fate had a total turnaround March this year when he was eased as party boss for the Chongqing, a sprawling cosmopolitan city in southwest China that Mr Bo ruled for years.
He was soon banished from the public eye and his wife, Gu Kailai, was subsequently arrested and convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood.
Also, Mr Bo's former top lieutenant, Wang Lijun, was implicated in the murder trial of Ms Gu and was sent to prison for serve a jail term that could last more than a year.
More importantly though, Mr Wang's conviction further exposed his boss to possible legal troubles as he made incriminating testimonies that could lead to the prosecution of Mr Bo, whose legal and personal woes now represents the most celebrated political scandal China has seen in decades.
China watchers believe that Mr Bo's expulsion from the Congress would leave him without legal and political protection to effectively ward off future legal charges that according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP) range from abuse of power, bribery and illicit relationship with numerous women.
He is believed to be under custody by the government but Chinese lawyer Li Xiaolin, who previously handled the case of Mr Bo's wife, told The Daily Telegraph that he remains clueless on the whereabouts of his client.
He added that details of the possible court cases to be brought against Mr Bo remains a mystery to him.
"We currently know nothing, when the trial will begin ... when we will visit him or if we can visit him," Mr Li told the publication.
To contact the editor, e-mail: