China Sentences Bo Xilai to Life

Onetime party boss will likely appeal, and lose
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2013 9:06 AM CDT
China Sentences Bo Xilai to Life
Chief judge Wang Xuguang reads the verdict in Bo Xilai's trial in Jinan, in eastern China's Shandong province, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jinan Intermediate People's Court)

Capping a dizzying downfall, a Chinese court has slapped onetime political rock star Bo Xilai with a life sentence in prison after convicting him of corruption and abuse of power. "Bo Xilai was a servant of the state, he abused his power, causing huge damage to the country and its people," said the court in a statement. "The circumstances were especially serious." Though Bo will probably appeal, and has 10 days to do so, notes Reuters, overturning the sentence within the party-run court system is extremely unlikely, effectively killing any chance of mounting a political return. The life term surprised some experts in its severity, but Bo did dodge the death penalty—if only because Beijing wanted to avoid making a martyr of him. His trial had its share of dramatic moments. (More China stories.)

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