Bo Xilai Appeals Against Life Sentence Conviction

K J M Varma/Beijing
Bo Xilai Appeals Against Life Sentence Conviction

China's disgraced former Communist Party leader Bo Xilai today appealed against his life sentence conviction on three counts, including corruption.

The move came a day after a court in eastern China sentenced Bo to life in prison for bribe-taking, embezzlement and abuse of power.

Besides the life sentence, he was stripped of political rights and his assets were seized. He received the life sentence for bribe-taking, 15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power.

Bo, 64, has appealed his verdict and sentencing, a source with direct knowledge of the case was quoted as saying by the CNN.

Bo fell from power amid a scandal involving murder, betrayal and financial skullduggery.

Reports say that Bo has informed the court about his decision to go on an appeal to a higher court. According to Chinese law he could appeal to the higher court in the province whose judgement will be final.

Analysts say that the life sentence ensures that Bo, who headed pro-Maoist faction in the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), will not have chance to come out of the prison until the scheduled retirement of President Xi Jinping in 2022.

During the politically sensitive trial that took place over several days last month, Bo denied the charges and strongly challenged the prosecution's case against him, according to accounts published by the court in Jinan.

The closely watched trial was considered to be much more transparent than most cases in China. But international and independent journalists weren't allowed inside the courtroom, and doubts were raised about the fullness of the court's version of events.

The sentence is the most severe punishment of a former Politburo member since the so-called Gang of Four's trial in 1980-81 involving Mao Zedong's widow, Jiang Qing.

Bo trial capped an 18-month political drama that some feared would cause a major rift in the Communist Party.

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