China to sentence disgraced politician Bo Xilai

A Chinese court will announce its verdict on former top politician Bo Xilai on Sunday following his 5-day trial last month on charges of corruption and abuse of power. He could be handed a long jail term by the Communist Party-controlled court.

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai stands trial inside the court in Jinan, Shandong province. Credit: REUTERS/Jinan Intermediate People's Cour

The nature of the charges could even see Bo, 64, given the death penalty, but many observers say that is unlikely as the party will not want to make a martyr of a man whose left-leaning social welfare policies won much popular support.

At the close of Bo's dramatic trial last month, prosecutors demanded a heavy sentence, saying his "whimsical" challenge to charges of bribery, graft and abuse of power flew in the face of the evidence. State media, which speaks for the party, has all but condemned him.

The verdict is expected to be announced by the court in the eastern city of Jinan, where Bo was tried, at 10 a.m. Beijing time (0200 GMT).

Read the latest on the trial here