Bo trial reveals lifestyles of China's rich and infamous

Bo trial reveals lifestyles of China's rich and infamous

JINAN - The family's safes held more cash than an average Chinese might see in a lifetime. Their French villa was held through shell companies designed to avoid taxes and publicity. The son gallivanted around the world at huge expense.

The sensational corruption trial of Bo Xilai exposed the lavish lifestyle of one of China's most powerful politicians, gripping the Communist-run country where mounting inequality has stoked public discontent.

The bribery and embezzlement charges against Bo, until last year the head of the megacity of Chongqing and one of China's top-25 leaders, amount to 26.8 million yuan ($4.4 million).

And that only touches on a few business dealings in the early part of the 64-year-old's career.

Bo defended himself against allegations from his wife Gu Kailai that she once saw $80,000 in bribe money by revealing the amount of ready cash they kept at home.

"In the shared safe there were hundreds of thousands of yuan, so how could she know the money she took out was from me?" he said, according to court accounts.

The ruling party mounted an apparently unusually open trial following its most explosive political scandal in decades.

The court in the eastern city of Jinan posted lengthy transcripts on its Twitter-like Weibo account each day - although their completeness and accuracy could not be verified.

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