China court to issue Bo Xilai appeal decision on Friday

This picture taken on Sept 22, 2013, and released by Jinan Intermediate People's Court shows Chinese political star Bo Xilai (second from right) wearing a pair of handcuffs as he stands in a courtroom in Jinan, east China's Shandong province. A
This picture taken on Sept 22, 2013, and released by Jinan Intermediate People's Court shows Chinese political star Bo Xilai (second from right) wearing a pair of handcuffs as he stands in a courtroom in Jinan, east China's Shandong province. A Chinese court will rule on Friday on the appeal of Bo, it announced on Monday, Oct 21, 2013, another step on the way to closing a scandal that has rocked the ruling party. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP / JINAN INTERMEDIATE PEOPLE'S COURT

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese court will rule on Friday on the appeal of the once-powerful politician Bo Xilai, it announced on Monday, another step towards closing a scandal that has rocked the ruling party.

Bo was sentenced to life in prison in September by the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong.

The Shandong provincial high court said on its website that it will "issue a decision regarding the bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power case of the appellant Bo Xilai".

Appeals in such high-profile cases are almost unheard of in Chinese courts, which are tightly controlled by the ruling Communist part. Analysts have said the appeal is unlikely to succeed.

The murder and corruption scandal that erupted in early 2012 surrounding Bo - once one of China's top 25 politicians - shook the Communist party, which prizes consensus and stability.

The affair saw Bo's wife Gu Kalai jailed last year for murdering a British associate, and his top aide Wang Lijun - who fled to a US consulate, reportedly seeking asylum - was imprisoned for covering up her involvement in the death, among other offences.

Bo's sensational five-day trial a month earlier offered a rare peek into the family life and dealings of a top official, exposing bribes, murder and illicit love at the highest levels of power.

Bo was unusually outspoken as a defendant in a Chinese court, and among many spirited arguments, he dismissed his wife as insane and Wang as being in love with her.

Comments