23 Aug 2013

Bribery and corruption charges denied by Bo Xilai

10:27 am on 23 August 2013

Chinese politician Bo Xilai put up a spirited defence on Thursday, saying the bribery charges he faces are invalid and he had admitted to them under psychological pressure during interrogation.

The former Communist Party chief of the city of Chongqing is charged with illegally taking almost 27 million yuan ($US4.41 million), corruption and abuse of power.

Mr Bo, 64, will almost certainly be found guilty.

But analysts said his denial of the charges and strong language were unexpected.

But observers said he could have agreed to choreographed proceedings that would show the Party in an impartial light in exchange for a pre-arranged sentence.

The trial is taking place at the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, in eastern Shandong province. The BBC reports the court is providing an account of proceedings on an official microblog.

"I hope the judge will try this case fairly and justly according to the law of the country," Mr Bo reportedly said.

Foreign journalists have not been allowed in.