Bo Xilai, the once-popular, now disgraced Chinese Politburo member was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty Sunday on corruption charges.
The Jinan Intermediate People's Court convicted Bo, 64, of graft, bribery and abuse of power.
The court ordered that all of his personal assets, including a house in France, be seized and that Bo repay $4 million the court said he obtained illegally by abusing his political fortune.
The former well-liked Politburo member and party chief of the megacity Chongqing vigorously denied any criminal wrongdoing during the trial, but Chinese courts are not independent and a guilty verdict was widely expected.
Bo was escorted into the court by marshals Sunday morning and stood to listen as the judge began reading the lengthy verdict, which reviewed the facts established in the trial.
Bo's downfall was set in motion by his wife's murder of a British businessman, followed by a defection of his top aide to a U.S. consulate with information about the murder case just ahead of a leadership transition.
Bo was well liked until his downfall. He poured billions into public works and social housing programs while party chief of Chongqing. He also launched a high-profile anti-crime campaign that won him admirers across China.
Despite his popularity, reports of forced confessions and torture during the crime crackdown horrified Chinese liberals, while some top party leaders saw his ambition as challenging the party's cherished unity.
Bo's career started to unravel in February 2012 when his top aide, police chief Wang Linjun -- after having a fallout with Bo -- fled to a U.S. consulate with information about the murder case and unsuccessfully sought political refuge -- in a severe breach of Communist Party rules.
Bo was removed from office in March and placed under investigation, which revealed other offenses such as corruption.
Expelled from the Communist Party in September, Bo is the highest-ranking Chinese official to stand trial since former Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu in 2008.
The verdict comes as China's new leadership under President Xi Jinping attempts to show it is cracking down on corruption, which he has said threatens the existence of the Communist Party.
But locals in Jinan expressed a widely held belief that trials of top officials are the outcome of political infighting, rather than purely legal proceedings.
"Bo is the kind of leader ordinary Chinese respect," said Lu Mingcai, a 63-year-old retired chauffeur. "His mistake is a political one. It's got nothing to do with whether he was corrupt or not."
Al Jazeera and wire services