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Son defends disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai

By the CNN Wire Staff
September 30, 2012 -- Updated 0820 GMT (1620 HKT)
Bo Guagua (left) defended his father, Bo Xilai, in a statement he posted to his Tumblr.
Bo Guagua (left) defended his father, Bo Xilai, in a statement he posted to his Tumblr.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Bo Guagua said "it is hard for me to believe the allegations"
  • NEW: The 24-year-old is the son of disgraced politician Bo Xilai
  • He posts a statement on Tumblr defending his father
  • Bo Xilai is accused corruption, abuse of power and adultery

(CNN) -- The son of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai says the laundry list of allegations leveled against his father contradicts "everything I have come to know about him throughout my life."

Bo Xilai was once considered a top contender for the Politburo Standing Committee, the team of nine politicians who effectively rule China. But last week, the Communist Party relieved him of his duties and expelled him.

He also faces possible criminal charges in connection with the murder of a British businessman, a crime for which is wife has been convicted.

On Saturday, Bo's son, Guagua, posted a statement on Tumblr, a microblogging site, where he defended his "upright" father. The statement made no mention of his mother.

"Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations announced against my father, because they contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life," the younger Bo wrote.

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"Although the policies my father enacted are open to debate, the father I know is upright in his beliefs and devoted to duty."

In an e-mail to CNN on Sunday, the son declined to comment further on the case. He said his statement posted to Tumblr was all he could say at the moment.

The statement followed news Friday by the state-run Xinhua new agency that the elder Bo had been expelled from the Communist Party and faced prosecution on criminal charges. The Xinhua report on his expulsion painted a portrait of corruption, abuse of power and improper sexual relationships.

The party said the politician made "severe mistakes" in the killing of the British businessman and a diplomatic incident involving a police official, Xinhua reported.

Investigators cited influence peddling, bribery and womanizing, new details found in the course of the party's investigation.

"Bo had or maintained improper sexual relationships with a number of women," the state news agency said.

He also took advantage of his power to seek profits and received bribes, and his family "accepted a huge amount of money and property from others," Xinhua said.

The son said he could not reconcile the man accused of such acts and the man he knows as his father.

"He has always taught me to be my own person and to have concern for causes greater than ourselves. I have tried to follow his advice," he said in the statement.

"At this point, I expect the legal process to follow its normal course, and I will await the result."

The elder Bo is a charismatic, albeit controversial, politician who launched a "smashing black, singing red" campaign in the southwestern city of Chongqing that promoted Communist ideology and zealously cracked down on organized crime.

His economic programs, which included millions spent on social welfare, made him a popular leader in Chongqing. But analysts say his populist policies and high-profile personal style were seen as a challenge to the more economically liberal and reform-oriented faction that dominates the current party leadership.

The politician's fortunes changed when news surfaced this year that his wife, Gu Kailai, was a suspected accomplice in the poisoning of businessman Neil Heywood.

Heywood died in November in Chongqing, where the elder Bo was the Communist Party chief. His death was originally blamed on excessive alcohol consumption.

The politician was soon stripped of his top posts for "serious breach of discipline." In August, his wife received a suspended death sentence after a seven-hour trial.

The case also put the son under scrutiny as reports emerged over his lavish student lifestyle. Photographs of him bare-chested with his arms around women at a party at the University of Oxford were widely published and received badly in China.

The father defended his son when the reports first came out, accusing people of trying to make the 24-year-old look bad.

The younger Bo graduated from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in May. He previously attended the University of Oxford, graduating in 2010.

Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing, set off the controversial story on February 6, when he fled to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu and told American diplomats that Gu was a suspected accomplice in a murder case.

After his request for asylum was turned down, Wang left the consulate and was taken away by Chinese officials. But his accusations rocked the world's most populous nation.

Wang last week was sentenced to 15 years for defection, cover-up, bribe taking and abuse of power.

CNN's Jason Kessler and Paul Armstrong contributed to this report.

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