Bo Xilai Sentenced to Life in Prison

On Sunday morning, the Jinan Intermediate Court announced that Bo Xilai was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power. His personal property will be confiscated and he will be deprived of his political rights as part of his sentence. He has ten days to appeal the verdict.

For more on Bo’s trial in August, see CDT’s liveblog of the proceedings.

This post will be updated throughout Sunday’s proceedings, with most recent updates at the top.

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Watch a clip of the video on Sina [zh].

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See reports on the sentencing hearing from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and AP. Also read a commentary on the trial from Human Rights Watch. From the Guardian’s report:

The verdict is intended to draw a line beneath a messy affair that cast an unflattering and unwelcome light on the country’s political elite. Bo’s wife Gu Kailai was convicted and jailed last year for the murder of the British businessman Neil Heywood; the allegations first emerged when Bo argued with his police chief Wang Lijun, who then fled to the US consulate in Chengdu.

It prepares the way for a key party meeting this autumn, which many hope will bring financial and economic reforms.

Scholar Zhang Lifan said both the trial of Bo and the crackdown on “internet rumours” were about establishing the authority of the new leadership.

But he noted: “The backlash is strong, and the media that belong to different factions still have different voices. Among the masses, the instinct to support Bo is still widespread. They don’t have much certainty of clearing out all the oppositional voices before the plenary session.”

The Third Plenum of the CCP’s 18th Central Committee begins in November.

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The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Times blog has explained the charges against Bo and the penalties he received for each in a handy guide.

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Bo Xilai has now taken his place in history beside China’s other toppled leaders. ChinaFile has put together an interactive graphic on ousted officials throughout PRC history.

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It’s official:

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John Garnaut, former China correspondent for Fairfax media, has provided background and the broader political context for Bo’s trial and potential sentence in an article in East Asia Forum:

Bo is likely to be convicted of misdeeds that are marginal to the political reasons that brought his downfall. His downfall followed the interrogation of dozens of associates, with each detainee testifying against the one above. The national crisis of injustice and inequality that Bo articulated, however, has only become more pressing.

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For background on the very tall policemen guarding Bo, read about their appearance during his trial.

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Meanwhile, while waiting for the verdict, the debates continue on Twitter about the potential sentence:

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September 21, 2013 7:41 PM
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Categories: Politics