Former top politician Bo Xilai was a rising star in China's leadership circles when his career was stopped short last year by a murder scandal. Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of poisoning a British businessman, Neil Heywood, who had been a family friend.
Bo, who was Communist Party chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, mounted an unexpectedly feisty defence during his trial, denouncing testimony against him by his wife as the ravings of a mad woman.
He repeatedly said he was not guilty of any of the charges, though he admitted making some bad decisions and shaming his country by his handling of former Chongqing police chief, Wang Lijun, who first told Bo that Gu had probably murdered Heywood.
Wang fled to the U.S. consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu in February last year after confronting Bo with evidence that Gu was involved in the murder. Wang was also jailed last year for covering up the crime.