A Chinese court says disgraced former politician Bo Xilai will be allowed to appeal his conviction on bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

The high court in the eastern province of Shandong said Wednesday that Bo "refused to accept the decision" following his August trial, which resulted in a sentence of life in prison.

The statement did not say when the appeal would be heard. But observers say it is unlikely to succeed, since China's top leaders have already decided Bo's fate.

Bo admitted some wrongdoing, but denied most of the charges against him at the sensational five-day trial, which was very closely watched in China.

Before the scandal erupted, Bo was one of the Communist Party's top leaders. The charismatic politician also amassed a wide public following as party chief of the megacity Chongqing and in his position on the elite Politburo.

The 64-year-old was removed from those posts last year after his ex-police chief fled to a U.S. consulate with evidence that Bo's wife was involved in the 2011 murder of a British businessman.

Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was later convicted of murdering the family friend, Neil Heywood, over a financial dispute. She was given a suspended death sentence, essentially a life term in prison.

The abuse of power charges against Bo were related to his failure to notify Communist Party officials of his wife's murder of Heywood. He was also convicted of accepting a large amount of bribes during his long political career.