News / Asia

Chinese Court Rejects Bo Xilai's Appeal

FILE - In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, fallen politician Bo Xilai, center, is handcuffed and held by police officers as he stands at the court in Jinan, in eastern China's Shandong province, Sept. 22, 2013.
FILE - In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, fallen politician Bo Xilai, center, is handcuffed and held by police officers as he stands at the court in Jinan, in eastern China's Shandong province, Sept. 22, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
William Ide
— A court in China has rejected an appeal by ousted politician Bo Xilai who was sentenced to life in prison last month on charges of corruption, bribery and abuse of power.  The ruling effectively closes the door on one of China’s biggest political scandals in decades. The case not only gave the Chinese public an up close view of the entitlements the country’s ruling elite enjoy, but stained the Communist Party’s image.
 
The Shandong Provincial Higher People’s Court ruling came quickly and unlike Bo Xilai’s trial - where he feistily defended himself - the former Chongqing party secretary and rising political star could do little but listen to the court’s decision.
 
Hou Jianjun, a spokesman for the court told reporters after the hearing that Bo’s appeal lacked any factual or legal basis.
 
“Bo Xilai should be punished in accordance with the law and serve time concurrently for his crimes of abuse of power, corruption and bribe taking," said Hou.  "The facts that were verified during the sentencing for the first review of the case were clear, the evidence sufficient and truthful, and the sentencing correct and appropriate based on the crimes. The entire process was held in accordance with the law.”
 
Four of Bo’s family members were at the hearing, where once again foreign journalists, including a reporter from VOA’s Mandarin Service, were barred from attending the proceedings.
 
Political analysts say the ruling is not surprising as the trial was seen by some as a largely political effort to sideline Bo and end his political career.
 
Because of that, it was important for the appeal to at least seem to be considered, says David Goodman, a political scientist at the University of Sydney.
 
"Going through all the motions was important for the party, because it wants to convince itself it has some belief in the rule of law," Goodman said. "Putting an end to the process is so that, it makes some of them think that they are allowed to get on with things, now that they have dealt with these issues."
 
In just a few weeks, China’s Communist Party leaders will hold a key party meeting that is expected to plan reforms over the next five years. With Bo’s case behind them, Chinese President Xi Jinping will have more room to unify the party and his new core of leaders.

Timeline of the Bo Xilai Scandal

2012
  • February 2: Bo's key ally and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun is demoted
  • February 6: Wang visits U.S. consulate in Chengdu
  • March 15: Bo dismissed as Chongqing party chief
  • March 26: Britain asks China to investigate November death of Briton Neil Heywood in Chongqing
  • April 10: Bo suspended from Communist Party posts. China says Gu is being investigated for Heywood's death
  • August 20: Gu given suspended death sentence after confessing to Heywood's murder
  • September 24: Wang convicted of defection, power abuse and bribe taking
  • September 28: Communist Party expels Bo

2013
  • July 25: Bo indicted for bribery, corruption, abuse of power
  • August 22: Bo trial begins in Jinan
  • September 22: Bo sentenced to life in prison
  • October 9: Court says Bo will be allowed to appeal his conviction
  • October 25: Court rejects appeal by Bo
The political scandal that dashed Bo’s career also wounded the Communist Party’s reputation. The case came at a time when the Chinese public is growing increasingly weary of how the country’s ruling elite use public office to enrich themselves and their families.
 
Ironically, fighting corruption and creating a more just society were ideals Bo championed in Chongqing.  He cracked down on gangs and corruption while promoting policies that sought to address social inequality. He also promoted public singing of revolutionary songs popular during the era of Mao Zedong.
 
Despite his removal from politics, the policies and leadership style he popularized in Chongqing remain important to the Party, Goodman said.
 
"Some of the things that he took a lead in both symbolism and substance are still coming to pass. In the symbolic stuff, all the symbolic referrals to an earlier age have got much more mainstream now, you only have to travel on the public transport to see that, there are posters and the way people talk about things in the newspapers, all that kind of red talking stuff is very much in the wind.”
 
Han Deqiang, an economist and supporter of Bo, said Bo's treatment by the courts has left some people puzzled because of the similarity between Bo's policies and those embraced by China’s top leaders.
 
“Especially Xi Jinping, the concepts that he stresses on are very similar to the ones that Bo Xilai was promoting," said Han. "That you have to serve the people, that you have to follow the path of serving the public, that you have to follow the mass line of the Communist Party, and oppose the opinions that stress marketization, these are all Bo Xilai's words.”
 
Although Bo has been sentenced to life in prison, it’s likely that the Chinese public has not heard the last about this legacy or ideas. Legal analysts say that despite the harsh sentence, he could be eligible for medical parole in less than a decade.

  • In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai is handcuffed and held by police officers as he stands at the court in Jinan, in eastern China's Shandong province, Sept. 22, 2013.
  • A minivan believed to be carrying Bo Xilai arrives at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court ahead of the fifth day of Bo's trial, August 26, 2013. 
  • In this image taken from video, Bo Xilai addresses a court at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • A woman protests outside the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, eastern China's Shandong province, August 21, 2013.
  • Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, is seen in a still image taken from an August 10, 2013 video provided by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court.
  • Policemen are seen at a court building where the trial for Bo Xilai was held in Jinan, Shandong province.
  • Former police chief Wang Lijun speaks during a court hearing in Chengdu, China, in this still image taken from CCTV video, Sept. 18, 2012.
  • This video image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, being taken into the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern Chinese city Hefei, August 9, 2012.
  • Police officers stand guard at the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court for the murder trial of Gu Kailai, Anhui Province, China, August 9, 2012.
  • A  combonation photo showing Neil Heywood and Gu Kailai.
  • Bo Xilai, walks past Communist Party leaders at the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 9, 2012.
  • Bo Xilai, right and his son, Bo Guagua, 2007.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: tiddle from: nyc, ny
October 25, 2013 1:28 PM
very few people would shed tears for bo xilai. afterall, it's common knowledge that everyone at or near the top enrich themselves and their families and pee-ons greatly. this whole notion of "rule of law" in china is most farcical since it's just a circus show for foreign media, nothing more. his fate with prison term is sealed once bo fell from grace and is stripped of power in the internal power struggle.


by: neeraj kumar from: Bishnupur,Bankura,W.Benga
October 25, 2013 9:18 AM
Give a bigger hand clap to communist government of China.it has proved its zero tolerance against corruption.In china ,corruption means anti national.In India corruption is a necessary tool to get bigger ministerial birth.like Salman Khursid has proved my sentences.Thanks again to Communist Party of China.India must follow the steps taken by government of china.Indian judiciary system ought to follow The china's Judiciary system,in which there is no one above the law.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid