The Chinese political star Bo Xilai has been sentenced to life in prison after a high-profile trial in decades. The sentence was announced by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court. Bo, one of China's top 25 politicians before his dramatic downfall, was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and power abuse.
Bo's fall came when his top aidefled to a US consulate with evidence of his wife murdering a British associate in 2012. In last month's hearing, he had fiercely defended himself against claims of illegal gratification of $ 4.4 million and abuse of his position to cover up the killing by his wife. The bribery charges made him eligible for the death penalty, but he got away with a lighter punsihment thanks to backroom political bargaining.
The verdict comes as China's new President Xi Jinping attempts to show the government is cracking down on corruption, which threatens the existence of the Communist Party. But locals in Jinan expressed a widely held belief that trials of top officials result from political infighting, rather than purely legal proceedings.