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Chinese court upholds charges against Bo Xilai

September 22, 2013 09:18 IST

Disgraced top Communist Party leader Bo Xilai was on Sunday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chinese court which upheld the charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power against him.

The Jinan Intermediate Court in east China's Shandong province, which conducted an unprecedented "open trial" last month for five days, convicted the former politburo member and Chongqing city Communist Party chief on all the three charges.

In its judgment delivered at a packed room, the court sentenced Bo to life in prison on the bribery charges, 15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power.

Bo, 64, was sacked as the head of the Chongqing city last year and removed from the ruling party following allegations of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power against him.

The court also stripped Bo of all political rights and  ordered the confiscation of his property, official media said.

He was accused of receiving 20 million Yuan (USD 3.5 million) as bribes and owning a luxury villa in France.

Bo, who vehemently denied all charges, would file an appeal against the judgement to a higher court in Shandong province whose verdict would be final, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said.

The hearing was regarded as the Communist China's most sensitive political trial after the 1981 'Gang of Four' trial involving Mao Zedong's widow Jing Qing.

KJM Verma in Beijing
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