Chinese court agrees to Bo Xilai appeal

Photo released by Jinan Intermediate People's Court of Bo Xilai awaiting his verdict in September.

Story highlights

  • A Chinese high court agrees to hear Bo Xilai's appeal
  • He was found guilty on all charges and given a life sentence for corruption
  • During the trial hearings, Bo denied the charges against him
  • Bo lodged his appeal before a Tuesday deadline, the court says

A Chinese high court has agreed to hear an appeal from convicted former Communist party senior Bo Xilai, according to a statement released by Jinan Intermediate People's Court.

Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in prison for bribe-taking, as well as 15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power after he was convicted in September.

China's Bo Xilai: From rising star to scandal

He filed his appeal before an October 8 deadline. The court reviewed it and accepted, the Shandong Province Supreme People's Court said.

During the politically sensitive trial, which took place over several days in August, Bo, 64, denied the charges and strongly challenged the prosecution's case against him, according to accounts published by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court.

The closely watched trial was considered to be much more transparent than most cases in China.

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    But international and independent journalists weren't allowed inside the courtroom, and doubts were raised about the fullness of the court's version of events.

    The trial brought to light a wealth of eye-opening details about the apparently lavish and emotionally fraught life of his family and inner circle, giving Chinese people insights into how some of the ruling elite live.

    Read more: Bo Xilai anticipated prison in letter to family

    Bo's glittering career, during which he drew both admirers and detractors for his populist policies, fell apart last year.

    The son of a revolutionary veteran, Bo rose to power as a city mayor, provincial governor, minister of commerce and member of the Politburo, the powerful policy-making body of the Communist Party. He had been tipped to ascend farther up the party hierarchy.

    From Gang of Four to Bo Xilai: Reporting from China's 'show trials'

    A charismatic and urbane politician, Bo was credited with a spectacular, albeit brutal, crackdown on organized crime during his time as the top party official of Chongqing, a metropolis in southwestern China.

    But when his deputy, Wang Lijun, walked into the U.S. Consulate in the city of Chengdu in February 2012 and told American diplomats that Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was involved in a murder case, Bo's career began to unravel.

    Wang's move precipitated Bo's political demise. Soon after news of the events began to emerge, Bo was removed from his party posts.

        Bo Xilai scandal

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        Political science professor Yuhua Wang says he's surprised by the severity of the life sentence given to Chinese politician Bo Xilai.
      • This screen grab taken from state television CCTV footage broadcast on August 24, 2013 shows ousted Chinese political star Bo Xilai (C) speaking in the courtroom as he stands trial at the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, China.

        In a letter to his family, the disgraced Communist Party leader reiterated his innocence but said he expected a lengthy prison sentence.
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        CNN Beijing bureau chief Jaime Florcruz compares his experience covering Bo's trial with a similarly explosive story in the early 1980s -- the "Gang of Four" trial.
      • This picture taken on September 29, 2008 shows the then Chongqing mayor Bo Xilan attending the "Ode to Motherland" singsong gathering in Chongqing. China's once high-flying communist politician Bo Xilai has been indicted for bribery and abuse of power, state media said on July 25, 2013 following a scandal that exposed deep divisions at the highest levels of government. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTOSTR/AFP/Getty Images

        While Chinese state media hailed the Bo Xilai trial as a show of "historic transparency," analysts saw its theatrics as part of a high-profile show trial.
      • This frame grab taken from Chinese television CCTV shows on September 18, 2012 shows former police chief Wang Lijun (R) facing the court during his trial in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province. The former police chief who set off China's biggest political scandal in years "did not contest" charges including defection and bribery at his trial, which ended on September 19, a court in Chengdu said. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO / CCTV

        The trial of Bo Xilai concluded with claims from Bo that his former police chief had a crush on his wife, Gu Kailai, who is serving time for murder.
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      • Wang Lijun pictured last year at the National People's Congress in Beijing.

        The trigger of China's biggest political scandal in a generation, Wang Lijun was once a feared police chief whose crime fighting exploits inspired a TV series.
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        A run-down hotel on the outskirts of Chongqing is the unlikely setting for a murder mystery. CNN's Stan Grant looks inside.