Bo Xilai gets life in prison

Updated: 2013-09-22 10:35


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Bo Xilai gets life in prison

Former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai (C) listens to his verdict inside the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, Shandong province September 22, 2013. The court sentenced Bo to life in prison on Sunday after finding him guilty of all the charges he faced of corruption, taking bribes and abuse of power. [Photo/Xinhua]

JINAN - Bo Xilai, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a former member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Sunday for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

He was deprived of political rights for life.

The Jinan Intermediate People's Court in East China's Shandong province announced the verdict on Sunday morning.

Bo has been found guilty of accepting bribes worth 20.44 million yuan (about $3.3 million), according to the verdict.

The court also decided that there was insufficient evidence supporting that he accepted 1.34 million yuan worth of air ticket fees as bribes.

Bo's wife and son accepted air ticket fees from businessman Xu Ming, according to the indictment during the first trial in August.

The court session started at 10:05 am. Presiding Judge Wang Xuguang announced the judgment.

Bo, 64, was former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a former member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau.

The trial of Bo was held from Aug 22 to 26 at the court in Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province.

At the trial, prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence for Bo, while he denied most of the charges.

At their summarizing statement, prosecutors said the evidence presented in court and during cross-examination fully demonstrated clear facts and evidence is sufficient to charge Bo with the crimes.

Although the country's legal system has a principle of tempering justice with mercy, a heavy sentence in line with the law should be handed to Bo, as he committed very serious crimes, refused to plead guilty and was not subject to any terms of leniency by law, they said.

Li Guifang and Wang Zhaofeng of the Beijing -based DeHeng Law Offices represented Bo at the trial.

More than 100 people, including Bo's family and relatives, deputies to people's congresses, political advisors, ordinary citizens and journalists observed the trial.

During the trial, both the prosecution and defense had fully cross-examined the evidence and witnesses and expressed their opinions.

The Jinan court's microblog at Sina Weibo, a leading Chinese social network, published the trial transcripts.

The court account had more than 582,000 followers from August 18, the day it opened, to August 26 when the trial ended. Its 160 posts, mainly about Bo's trial, gained tens of thousands of reposts and comments.

"During the trial, both prosecution and defense sides had opportunities to fully express their opinions. Also, the court released trial transcripts through microblog. All of these have made me more confident of the future of China's judicial system," Bo said in his final statement.

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