A Chinese court has sentenced Bo Xilai, a former senior politician, to life in prison. The sentencing followed the former local Communist Party boss' conviction on a series of graft charges.
The Intermediate Court in the eastern Chinese city of Jinan sentenced Bo Xilai to life in prison after finding the former rising political star guilty on all the charges he faced, including corruption, accepting bribes and abuse of power. The court also ordered that all of his personal assets be seized, according to a transcript of the ruling published on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website similar to Twitter.
Bo, a former member of the Politburo and Communist Party chief in the megacity of Chongqing denied any wrongdoing and used his 5-day trial last month to mount a vigorous defence against all of the charges against him.
The case against Bo had been set into motion last year after the former police chief in Chongqing, Wang Lijun, fled to a US consulate with what he said was evidence that Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, had been involved in the death of a British businessman in 2011. Wang also claimed that Bo had attempted to hinder police in their investigation. Gu has since been convicted of murder.
Bo, who was once ranked among China's top 25 politicians, is only the country's third senior figure to be tried on graft charges in recent decades.
The trial came amid a drive by new President Xi Jinping to crack down on official corruption, which he says threatens the party's very survival.
However, Bo's supporters and some observers regard his trial and conviction as being politically motivated.
pfd/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)