China's Bo Xilai to appeal life sentence

China's Bo Xilai to appeal life sentence

CHINA - Bo Xilai, China's former Chongqing Party chief, is to appeal his life sentence for corruption, Shandong Provincial High People's Court announced on Wednesday.

The appeal was submitted to the court on September 22 and has been accepted, the court said in an online statement.

According to Chinese law, the hearing will be the 64-year-old's final appeal.

The court did not say whether the hearing will be open to the public.

Bo, also a former member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stood trial from August 22 to 26 at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in Shandong province.

He was sentenced to life for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, and was deprived of his political rights for life. His private assets were also confiscated.

According to the Jinan court, Bo received bribes of 20.44 million yuan (S$4.17 million) personally or through his wife, Gu Kailai, and their son, Bo Guagua, from 1999 to 2012.

The court also said Bo embezzled 5 million yuan from a government project in 2002. The money was transferred to a bank account belonging to his wife, of which Bo was aware.

He also abused his power while Chongqing police were probing a murder case, in which his wife killed British citizen Neil Heywood in November 2011, and removed Chongqing police chief, Wang Lijun, from his post, which led to Wang fleeing to the US consulate in Chengdu last year, the court said.

Bo denied all accusations during the trial, but the court said the evidence was solid and Bo had admitted some charges during questioning.

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