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China court upholds life sentence for former Communist party leader

A Chinese court on Friday upheld a life sentence for former Communist party leader Bo Xilai [BBC report]. Bo was sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] in September for corruption, embezzlement and abuse of power. The High People's Court of the Province of Shandong rejected Bo's appeal, ruling that the facts of the first instance are clear, the evidence is reliable and sufficient, and the sentence appropriate, according to a statement [text, in Chinese] on the court's website. Bo does not have another chance to appeal, and if he submits a complaint to the Supreme People's Court in Beijing, it will likely be rejected, according to a BBC report [text].

Bo was convicted for using his position in the Communist Party of China (CPC) to accept bribes [Xinhua report] in the form of property and money for himself and others from 1999 to 2012. The Jinan Intermediate People's Court stripped Bo of all political rights and seized his personal assets. Chinese authorities formally charged [JURIST report] Bo in July. His case has been viewed as a challenge for China's new president Xi Jinping, who has faced pressure from within the CPC to punish Bo lightly and to avoid a public trial.

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