|Photo taken on Oct. 25, 2013 shows the Shandong Higher People's Court announcing decision of second trial of Bo Xilai, in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province. The court announced the decision of second trial for Bo Xilai's bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power case Friday, rejecting his appeal and affirming the original sentence of life imprisonment. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
JINAN, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Shandong Higher People's Court on Friday rejected Bo Xilai's appeal and upheld the original sentence of life imprisonment for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.
The Jinan Intermediate People's Court sentenced Bo, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and former member of the Political Bureau of the party's Central Committee, to life imprisonment on Sept. 22.
According to the original verdict, Bo was found guilty of accepting bribes totaling more than 20.44 million yuan (about 3.3 million US dollars), embezzling 5 million yuan and the circumstances of his abuse of power were described as "especially serious."
He was sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes, with his political rights deprived for life and all personal assets confiscated. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for embezzlement and had personal assets of 1 million yuan confiscated. Bo was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for abuse of power.
The combined punishment for Bo's crimes was life imprisonment, with political rights deprived for life and all personal assets confiscated, the verdict said.
Bo submitted an appeal after the verdict was handed down. The Shandong Higher People's Court filed Bo's appeal and formed a collegial panel for the second trial.
The collegial panel reviewed all the case files and video footage of the first trial, examined Bo's appeal documents and defence lawyers' opinions.
The panel interrogated Bo several times and heard opinions of his lawyers, verified all evidence, comprehensively examined the facts confirmed during the first trial and legal applications to fully safeguard the litigation rights of Bo and the defence lawyers.
After review by the collegial panel and deliberation of a judgment committee, Shandong Higher People's Court gave its decision.
The Shandong Higher People's Court affirmed the facts and evidence of the first trial, saying that Bo is guilty of bribe-taking as he used his power as a public servant to seek benefits for others and illegally took money and property from others.
Also as a public servant, Bo took advantage of his position and embezzled public funds with accomplices, the facts of which constituted the crime of embezzlement, the higher court said.
The court said Bo's abuse of power is "especially serious" and has led to huge losses to the state and the people, constituting the crime of power abuse, adding that Bo's offenses of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power merit combined punishment in accordance with law.
The Shandong Higher People's Court said the facts are clear, the first trial's evidence is substantial and sufficient and legitimate trial procedures were followed. The first trial's judgment was accurate and the sentencing appropriate, added the court.
The higher court said Bo's written confession, the testimony of witnesses, and related documentary and physical evidence were corroborated, while the grounds for appeal and the defense opinions of Bo and his defenders were found to have no factual or legal basis.
According to item 1 of Clause 1 in Article 225 of China's Criminal Procedure Law, the Shandong Higher People's Court decided to dismiss the appeal and uphold the original ruling. Today's decision is also the final order.
Over 100 people, including Bo's relatives, journalists and people from various walks of life heard the decision in court.