JINAN. Bo Xilai, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a former member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Sunday for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.
Xilai was deprived of political rights for life, and his personal assets were also confiscated. The Jinan Intermediate People’s Court in east China’s Shandong Province announced the verdict. Bo was found guilty of taking bribes totaling 20.44 million yuan (about 3.3 million U.S. dollars), either personally or through his family members, between 1999 and 2012.0 Bo’s position had been rising during this period, from the mayor of the Dalian in northeast Liaoning province, to the CPC secretary of the city, to the governor of Liaoning and Commerce Minister.In return, Bo helped Dalian International Development Co. Ltd., of which Tang Xiaolin was general manager, in taking over the Dalian City liaison office in Shenzhen and also helped Tang obtain quota licenses for importing cars, the court said.
According to court findings, Bo granted Xu Ming, chairman of Dalian Shide Group Co. Ltd., favors in the company’s introduction of a football-like sightseeing hot-air balloon and in its bid for a petrochemical project.The court found that Bo directly accepted cash totaling 1.1 million yuan from Tang. He was aware of and showed no objection to the fact that his wife Bogu Kailai and their son, Bo Guagua, accepted monetary gains and properties worth 19.33 million yuan from Xu. According to the verdict, Bo Xilai, while secretary of the Dalian Municipal Committee of the CPC in 2000, assigned Wang Zhenggang, then director of the Dalian municipal bureau of urban and rural planning and land, to take charge of a project to be built by Dalian for a higher authority.
In March 2002, after the project was completed, the higher authority allocated 5 million yuan to refund the project. Wang proposed that Bo, who had moved to become the governor of Liaoning, use money to cover the expenses of his family. Bo consented and asked Wang to approach his wife Bogu Kailai for the matter. The 5 million yuan was eventually transferred to an account designated by Bogu. The court’s judgement said on Nov. 13, 2011, Bogu and Zhang Xiaojun murdered British citizen Neil Heywood by poisoning him at the Lucky Holiday Hotel in Chongqing. On Nov. 15, Heywood was found dead.
Guo Weiguo, then deputy police chief of Chongqing who was in charge of the Heywood case (also known as the 15/11 case), failed to pursue the case to protect Bogu, the court said.On Jan. 28, 2012, Wang Lijun, then Chongqing’s police chief and vice mayor, told then Chongqing’s Party chief and CPC Central Committee Political Bureau member Bo Xilai that Bogu was the suspect. Bo later lashed out at Wang for framing a murder accusation against Bogu, slapping Wang’s face and smashing a cup.