Defiant Bo Xilai Says Ready to Endure Jail

K J M Varma/Beijing
Defiant Bo Xilai Says Ready to Endure Jail

Seemingly resigned to his fate ahead of a court verdict, disgraced Chinese Communist leader Bo Xilai remains defiant saying he is ready to "follow the footsteps of his father" who also suffered imprisonment during the Mao era.

In a letter written from prison to his relatives, ahead of the verdict in his high-profile trial by the Jinan People's Intermediate Court on Sunday, Bo said he is prepared to follow in his father's footsteps by going to prison with the hope that "one day" his name will be cleared.

"My father was jailed many times. I will follow his footsteps. I will wait quietly in the prison," Bo, 64, who faced charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power said in his letter, excerpts of which were today published by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

Bo, who held many high level positions including as the Commerce Minister and was tipped to become a top leader in the present set-up was ousted as chief of Chongqing city last year and charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

He was accused of accepting several million dollars as bribes and even buying a villa in France.

Bo reportedly wrote the letter outlining his feelings as he awaited the verdict in his corruption trial.

Prosecutors have demanded severe punishment for him.

Speculation is rife that Bo could get suspended death sentence or a jail term of upto 20 years.

"My father was jailed many times. I will follow his footsteps," he said.

Bo's late father Bo Yibo was one of the most influential communist elders to survive the Cultural Revolution.

Known as one of the Communist Party's founders along with Mao Zedong, Bo Yibo was first jailed in 1949 by nationalists.

Later, he along with moderate leader Deng Xiaoping was imprisoned again 1966 in a purge against liberals carried out by Mao at the height of the Cultural Revolution during which millions are believed to have been killed.

Dubbed as one of the "eight immortals" for their political longevity, Bo Yibo died in 2007 aged 98.

Bo Xilai, ironically had the image of a hardline Maoist opposing the reform process that transformed China into an economic powerhouse in the last three decades.

"Father and mother have passed away, but their teachings continue to serve me well. I would not disgrace their glorious past. I could suffer even greater miseries," Bo said.

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