China's Bo gets appeal against life
Published 21/10/2013 | 10:51
Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai's appeal against his guilty verdict and life imprisonment for corruption will be heard this week.
Bo is expected to be allowed to appear in the Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court for the session on Friday. The court described the hearing as "open," but access will probably be limited to a few official media outlets and selected members of the public.
Bo was found guilty of embezzlement, bribery and abuse of power by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court last month. He has denied the charges.
The court can uphold the lower court's decision, modify the sentence or ask for a retrial. It is expected to stick to the verdict because Bo's fate has been seen by political analysts as predetermined by the highest leadership of the Communist Party, which controls the court system.
Bo, once the party boss of the megacity of Chongqing, had been an up-and-coming political star before his downfall in one of China's messiest political scandals in decades. It was triggered early last year by his former police chief, who made a high-profile flight to a U.S. consulate bearing revelations that Bo's wife had murdered British businessman Neil Heywood.
Bo's naked ambition and penchant for publicity had also run foul of China's consensus rule and posed a challenge to Xi Jinping, who ascended to China's top leadership position in a power transition late last year.