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Ex-leader in China defended

| Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, 8:09 p.m.

BOSTON — The Harvard-educated son of disgraced Chinese political leader Bo Xilai defended his father against charges of taking bribes and having improper sexual relationships, saying he believed in his father's good character.

“Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations that were announced against my father, because they contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life,” Bo Guagua said in a statement posted on the microblog site Tumblr.

Since graduating from Harvard University in May with a master's degree in public policy, Guagua, 24, has kept a low profile, in contrast to reports this year of a playboy lifestyle in the United States that created an Internet firestorm in China.

The younger Bo's statement was made a day after China's ruling Communist Party accused his father of abusing his power, taking huge bribes and committing other crimes.

Bo will be handed over for criminal investigation, state media reported on the latest phase in a scandal of murder and cover-ups that has shaken China's leadership. Bo had been seen as a strong contender to become a member of the powerful Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Political Bureau this year.

Both Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, and his former police chief, Wang Lijun, have been jailed over the scandal stemming from the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in the southwestern city of Chongqing, where Bo was Communist Party chief.

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