Bo Xilai China corruption trial ends – court

Agence France-Presse
(UPDATE) The Intermediate People's Court in the eastern city of Jinan 'will pronounce the verdict at a date to be decided'

Former regional leader Bo Xilai (front, C) standing trial for the third day at Jinan Intermediate People's Court, as former police chief of Chongqing municipality Wang Lijun (not pictured) speaks as witness in Jinan, Shandong province, China, 24 August 2013. EPA/Jinan Intermediate People's Court / Handout

JINAN, China (UPDATED) – The trial of fallen Chinese politician Bo Xilai on bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power charges ended Monday, August 26, after 5 days of hearings, the court said.

The Intermediate People’s Court in the eastern city of Jinan will “announce the verdict at a date to be decided”, it said on its verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

The trial had initially only been expected to last two days, but stretched on as Bo, once the Communist Party chief of the megacity of Chongqing, mounted a spirited defense.

Delayed transcripts of the hearings posted online by the court painted a dramatic picture of the defendant denying the accusations and decrying prosecution witnesses and evidence.

But no foreign media are present in court and no independent verification is possible.

But analysts widely believe that a guilty verdict is a foregone conclusion and a long prison sentence has already been agreed.

The scandal surrounding Bo, which shook the ruling Communist Party, emerged after British businessman Neil Heywood was poisoned in a Chongqing hotel room and Bo’s police chief flee to a US consulate.

Bo’s wife Gu Kailai was convicted of Heywood’s murder and given a suspended death penalty, which in China is normally commuted to life imprisonment. –

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