China prosecutors demand heavy sentence for Bo

China prosecutors demand heavy sentence for Bo
China's then Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai looks on during a meeting at the annual session of China's parliament.

JINAN - The dramatic trial of fallen Chinese politician Bo Xilai ended Monday with prosecutors pushing for a heavy sentence over a murder and corruption scandal that shook the Communist Party.

Bo's crimes of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power were "extremely serious" and there were no mitigating factors, they said.

The description is a key factor in Chinese sentencing, where courts must generally find both conditions apply if they are to impose the death penalty.

Analysts widely believe that despite the drama of the five-day trial, which has seen Bo mount a feisty defence, a guilty verdict is a foregone conclusion and a long prison sentence has already been agreed.

The Intermediate People's Court in Jinan said on its verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter, that it would give its verdict at a later date.

Under Chinese law the death penalty is available for cases of bribery involving more than 100,000 yuan (S$20,000) and the prosecution told the court: "The defendant's crimes are extremely serious.

"He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and there are no extenuating circumstances suggesting lighter punishment. It must be dealt with severely according to the law."

Throughout the trial - originally expected to last only two days - the court posted regular but delayed transcripts of the proceedings on its Weibo account, in a move hailed by state media as unprecedented transparency.

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