Chinese Court Accepts Bo Xilai's Plea for Appeal

K J M Varma/Beijing
Chinese Court Accepts Bo Xilai's Plea for Appeal

A Chinese court today accepted an appeal by disgraced Chinese Communist Party leader Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, giving him the last chance to clear his name.

Bo, 64, shouted "unfair" when the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in east China's Shandong Province last month sentenced him to life in jail. He submitted an appeal to the Shandong Higher People's Court which accepted his plea.

"This court, upon investigation, decided in accordance with the law to accept," the court said in a statement without mentioning any specific date.

This will be Bo's last legal avenue to defend himself after which he would serve his sentence in special prison which, according to reports, will have all facilities.

Regarded as rebel who projected himself as a pro-Maoist leader, Bo held several high profile positions, including head of Dalian city, Governor of Liaoning province besides Minister of Commerce.

He was sacked last year as head of Chongqing city over attempts to shield his wife Gu Kailai from investigations into her role in the murder of a British Businessman, Neil Heywood.

She was subsequently given a suspended death sentence.

The case caught national attention after Police Chief of city, Wang Lijun, defected to the US Consulate in Chengdu saying that he was afraid of reprisals from Bo for investigating Gu's role.

Bo was subsequently charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power at his first trial held from August 22 to 26 and the court announced its verdict on September 22.

In an open trial with transcripts released through the microblogs, Bo put up a strong defence contesting almost all allegations against him.

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