Chinese court rejects Bo Xilai’s appeal,seals fate

Bo got life sentence for the country's biggest political scandal.

Written by PTI | Beijing | Published:October 25, 2013 4:20 pm

A Chinese court on Thursday rejected the appeal of disgraced politician Bo Xilai and upheld his life sentence for bribery,embezzlement and abuse of power in the country’s biggest political scandal that shook the ruling Communist Party.

“This court verified the facts and evidence of the court of first instance,” Shandong high court spokesman Hou Jianjun said.

“The reasons for appeal presented by Bo Xilai and the opinions of his counsel did not have factual and legal basis,and were not tenable.”

The court “ruled to reject the appeal,and uphold the original judgement”,Hou told reporters in Jinan,capital of Shandong province.

“The above ruling is the final judgement,” he said,effectively sealing the fate of Bo,once a rising star in China’s leadership.

In September,Jinan Intermediate Court had sentenced the 64-year-old former Politburo member and Chongqing city Communist Party chief to life in prison on the graft charges,15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power.

The high court in Shandong had accepted his appeal earlier this month. The court reportedly scrutinised the evidence placed by the prosecution and upheld the life sentence.

The rejection meant that Bo,who was regarded a rebel trying to resurrect the hardline Maoist ideology,exhausted all legal option and begin to serve his life sentence,which experts say could come up for review after 14 years. There was no official report about where he would be lodged.

A charismatic Bo,widely expected to be front runner for a top post in the once-in-a-decade leadership change of the ruling Communist Party last year,was expected to be housed at a separate jail for convicted Communist Party officials which was stated to be more like a guest house with all facilities.

His wife Gu Kailai is also imprisoned as she was given a suspended death sentence last year for her involvement in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Earlier,Bo effectively made use of the first ever open trial to counter charges stretching the one day trial to five days garnering local and international publicity. He did not accept his sentence saying it was unfair and unjust.

Bo,who held many top posts including as the Commerce Minister,was found guilty of taking bribes totalling 20.44 million yuan (USD about 3.3 million) either personally or through his family members,between 1999 and 2012.

The intermediate court also convicted Bo of stealing five million yuan of government funds. He was also convicted for abuse of power to save his wife from investigations.

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