Lavish French villa owned by ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai up for sale: Report

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A lavish French villa owned by disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been put up for sale for more than 6.95 million euros (S$11.17 million), the state-backed Global Times reported on Monday, after his spectacular fall from grace.

Bo, once the Communist Party boss of the south-western metropolis of Chongqing, was sentenced to life in jail last year after he was found guilty of corruption and abuse of power in one of China's most serious political scandals in a generation.

China had vowed to confiscate the mansion but it was unclear who put it up for sale or whether the government had made any progress in its effort to seize the property.

The villa was purchased for Bo's family by a businessman close to him, according to court records from his trial.

The hillside mansion faces the Mediterranean Sea and is in a posh resort area, state media has reported. It was a key piece of evidence during Bo's corruption trial.

Bo was known for his charisma and populism but his career was felled by a murder scandal in which his wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to go after corrupt officials' ill-gotten gains hidden overseas in a campaign dubbed the "fox hunt". China has sought cooperation from Western governments in catching those it terms economic fugitives.

Xi has said he will go after high-flying "tigers" as well as lowly "flies" in his widening campaign against graft.