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.
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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs