Former Chinese rising party leader Bo Xilai was sentenced Sunday to life in prison after being found guilty of taking bribes, embezzlement and abuse of power, a sentence that, to all appearances, puts an end to his public career.

The court in Jinan, in eastern China, which in August was the scene of the former hard-charging Politburo member's trial, discounted the arguments presented by the defense and handed down a sentence of life behind bars to Bo for accepting bribes amounting to 20.44 million yuan ($3.3 million).

The court, which also found Bo guilty of embezzling 5 million yuan ($813,000) in public funds, went on to impose a 15-year prison sentence on him for that crime, as well as another seven years in prison for abuse of power.

The three sentences will run simultaneously.

The 64-year-old Bo, the former general secretary of the Communist Party in the city of Chongqing, will also have all his personal assets confiscated and will lose his political rights for life.

The sentence is a heavy blow to Bo's hopes of relaunching his political career sometime in the future.

Although the possibility exists that the life sentence may be commuted for good behavior, it is highly improbable that such a move will occur before he has spent at least a decade in prison.

In a letter to his relatives released last week, Bo had declared that he was convinced that "someday" his name would be cleared. EFE