press trust of india
Beijing, 25 October
A Chinese court today 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 judgment”, Hou told reporters in Jinan, capital of Shandong province.
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 rejection of his appeal meant that Bo, who was regarded as a rebel trying to resurrect the hardline Maoist ideology, has exhausted all legal options and must 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.
Bo&’s 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, who held many top posts including as the commerce minister, was found guilty of taking bribes totalling 20.44 million yuan either personally or through his family members, between 1999 and 2012. The 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.