Bo Xilai to hear verdict Sunday

Bo Xilai. Photo: Xinhua

Former Politburo member Bo Xilai will hear his verdict at 10 am on September 22, the Jinan court announced on its official Weibo account on Wednesday.

Bo, 64, is charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. He rejected the accusations and struck a defiant, almost accusatory, stance throughout his five-day trial at Jinan's Intermediate People's Court, in Shandong province, which ended on August 26.

Prosecutors linked Bo to almost 27 million yuan in bribes and embezzlement. He faces a minimum of 10 years in jail or even the death penalty. The prosecution pressed for a severe punishment, citing Bo's lack of remorse.

"The defendant's crimes are extremely serious," the prosecutors said during the trial. "It must be dealt with severely according to the law."

But two sources with close ties to family associates of Bo and his wife, Gu Kailai , said he would likely receive a lenient sentence. They both said Bo would be jailed for less than 15 years.

Bo, party chief in Chongqing until his fall, is the highest-ranking official prosecuted since former Beijing party boss Chen Xitong in 1998 and Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu in 2008, who were jailed for 16 and 18 years respectively. Chen Xitong's appeal was rejected by the supreme court.

During the trial, Bo said he was flawed, but suggested Gu and his former police chief Wang Lijun , who both testified against him, had an "extremely special relationship".

 


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