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Former Chinese politician Bo Xilai's verdict upheld

A Chinese court has upheld a life sentence for former senior politician Bo Xilai after rejecting his appeal. The ex-local Communist Party boss, and once rising political star, was convicted on corruption charges.

The Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court rejected an appeal by deposed regional leader Bo Xilai on Friday, upholding the original verdict and sentence.

Bo was sentenced to life in prison in September after being found guilty on all the charges he faced, including corruption, accepting bribes and abuse of power.

Bo, a former member of the Politburo and Communist Party chief in the megacity of Chongqing has denied any wrongdoing.

According to Chinese law, Bo will not be able to make any further formal appeals. He may submit a "petition" to China's Supreme Court, however it is not required to take further action.

The case against Bo, 64, 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.

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.

hc/lw (Reuters, AFP, AP)