Court rejects Bo Xilai's appeal

Bo Xilai Photo: Getty Images

A Chinese court has dismissed an appeal by disgraced politician Bo Xilai of the guilty verdict and life sentence he was handed last month.

The Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court rejected Bo's appeal in a ruling delivered Friday.

Bo was found guilty of embezzlement, bribery and abuse of power by a lower court in the same province last month and sentenced to life in prison.

The high court Jinan in the eastern province of Shandong, where Bo was originally tried, said that it was satisfied the first trial had done justice in the case.

"This court verified the facts and evidence of the court of first instance," Shandong high court spokesman Hou Jianjun told a news conference.

"The reasons for appeal presented by Bo Xilai and the opinions of his counsel did not have factual and legal basis, and were not tenable."

The court "ruled to reject the appeal, and uphold the original judgment", Hou added. "The above ruling is the final judgment."

He likely now has no further recourse to appeal, state media said, as he could only take his case to the Supreme Court in Beijing if he had been sentenced to death.

State television shows pictures of an apparently healthy Bo, with a slight smile on his face, both sitting and standing in court, and also of him being led out of the room by two towering policemen.

Bo will now be sent back to Qincheng jail, just north of Beijing, where fallen members of the elite are incarcerated, and will likely never be seen in public again, although he could be released on medical parole some day.

Hou said that four members of Bo's family had been in court, and that the hearing had been conducted with "normal order".

Bo was an up-and-coming politician whose downfall was set in motion in February 2012 when his former top aide attempted to defect to a U.S. consulate with information about his wife's murder of British businessman.

The scandal came as Chinese leaders were preparing for a once-a-decade transition.

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