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China’s fallen politician appeals guilty verdict

A Chinese court gave Bo Xilai a life sentence.

A Chinese court gave Bo Xilai a life sentence.

BEIJING — Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai has appealed his guilty verdict, a person close to the case said Tuesday, in a rare move that is consistent with his defiant stance but unlikely to change the outcome.

The former Politburo member reportedly made the appeal orally upon the delivery of the verdict issued by the Jinan Intermediate People’s Court in eastern China on Sunday.

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The court announced that it found Bo guilty of embezzlement, bribery, and abuse of power, and sentenced him to life in prison. A copy of the verdict was later delivered to Bo, when he informed the court of his decision to appeal, the source said.

Chinese law allows appeals to be made orally, and the source said a written appeal to the higher court, Shandong Provincial Supreme People’s Court, would also be submitted.

The provincial court is expected to make a ruling within two months, and it can uphold the lower court’s decision, modify the sentence, or ask for a retrial. But it is expected to stick to the Jinan court’s verdict because it is believed to be orchestrated by China’s highest leadership.

The Sunday verdict has effectively ended the political career of Bo, who was once an up-and-coming political star.

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