Bo likely to appeal court verdict

Bo Xilai is sentenced to life on September 22. Photo: weibo.com/talentsmag

Observers said Bo Xilai is likely to lodge an appeal after the Jinan court sentenced him to life imprisonment on September 22.

The former Politburo member was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power as the court handed down a life sentence to wrap up the most sensational political scandal to rock China in recent years.

The verdict was a bit harsher than lawyers had expected because Bo had been resistant at court and denied all the allegations against him during the five-day trial in August, said Shang Baojun, a lawyer with the Beijing-based Moshaoping Law Firm.

“Bo is likely to lodge an appeal,” Shang told the sino-us.com. “If he appeals to the Jinan Higher People’s Court for a second trial, the court probably will uphold the life sentence,” said Shang.

Chinese convicted politicians often opt for medical parole in hopes of early release because medical parole is better than commutation which is only available after a 20-year service in prison.

“The 64-year-old Bo may apply for medical parole to get released ahead of time,” said Shang. “Senior officials and politicians have bigger chance than average people to get their sentences reduced.”

Bo will serve his sentence at Qincheng Prison in Changping District of Beijing where his father Bo Yibo served his sentence, and his former police chief Wang Lijun is currently held.

Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood and was given a suspended death sentence last year that will likely be commuted to life imprisonment.

(The article is translated by Wu Jie)


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