Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bo Xilai: China politician appeals life sentence

World Appeals life sentence: Former China's Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai.

Appeals life sentence: Former China's Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai. Photo: Reuters

Purged political star Bo Xilai has formally appealed his life sentence and conviction on corruption charges, Chinese authorities have confirmed.

The former Chongqing party secretary was found guilty of graft, receiving bribes, and abuse of power by the Jinan People's Intermediate Court and was sentenced to life in jail on September 22.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, the Shandong High Court said it would consider the appeal according to the relevant laws.

Bo had been widely expected to appeal but political analysts consider it highly unlikely his verdict will be overturned, nor his sentence altered, given it was likely that senior figures within the party who had determined the verdict.


Bo was a charismatic yet polarising political figure who was seen by some as a direct rival to President Xi Jinping, and whose fall from grace came just as he was within grasp of a promotion to China's elite decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.

Bo shot to national prominence in Chongqing by waging war on organised crime and for stoking a wave of "red" Maoist nostalgia through the singing of Communist revolutionary songs. But his political ambitions dramatically combusted when his trusted police chief Wang Lijun defected to the US consulate in March last year.

There, Wang told American officials that Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, had murdered British businessman Neil Heywood, triggering the political scandal that convulsed China's political elite.
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