China sentences Bo Xilai to life in prison for corruption

He had denied all the charges against him in a fiery defence at his trial. AFP
A Chinese court sentenced Bo Xilai to life in prison on Sunday after finding the once powerful Communist Party insider guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

The Jinan People\’s Court announced the decision Sunday in what has been one of China\’s most closely watched political scandals in decades.
Bo went on trial last month on charges of taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power.
The 64-year-old former Politburo member acknowledged making mistakes, but denied most of the charges.
Passing sentence the judge told Bo that he had damaged China\’s national interests and the interests of its people, wrongfully using his position in power to receive bribes totalling 20 million Chinese Yuan ($3.2m).
He rejected Bo\’s claims that his confession to the crimes was acquired through illegal means such as torture and interrogation, and said it therefore stood.
Bo was removed as party secretary of Chongqing and ousted from the Politburo last year, after that city\’s former police chief fled to a U.S. consulate with evidence about the Bo family\’s alleged involvement in the 2011 murder of a British businessman.
Prosecutors say Briton Neil Heywood was killed as a result of a financial dispute with Bo\’s wife, who was convicted of the murder last year and given a suspended death sentence, essentially a life term in prison.
Source: Agencies

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