China

Bo Xilai Says He Was Framed as Corruption Trial Begins

Could face the death penalty

|

(Reuters)—Fallen politician Bo Xilai put up a feisty defense on Thursday as he faced China's most political trial in decades, saying he was framed in one of the bribery charges against him and had admitted to it against his will during interrogation.

The 64-year-old former Communist Party chief of the southwestern city of Chongqing has been charged with illegally taking almost 27 million yuan ($4.41 million), corruption and abuse of power and will almost certainly be found guilty.

Bo's denial of one of the charges and strong language as he made his first public appearance since being ousted early last year were unexpected. But observers said he could have struck a deal with authorities to show he was getting a fair trial in exchange for a pre-arranged sentence.