Ex-Chinese planning official on trial for graft

AP News
Posted: Sep 23, 2014 10:45 PM
Ex-Chinese planning official on trial for graft

BEIJING (AP) — The former deputy chief of the agency in charge of steering the world's second-largest economy went on trial Wednesday accused of taking bribes, Chinese state media reported, as a campaign against official corruption intensifies.

Liu Tienan was an official of vice-ministerial rank at China's National Development and Reform Commission, the economic planning agency. The ruling Communist Party's disciplinary agency announced in May last year that he was under investigation.

Liu's trial opened at Langfang Intermediate People's Court in Hebei province in northern China, the official Xinhua News Agency said in a brief report.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to go after low- and high-level officials in a campaign to purge the ruling Communist Party of corruption and other wrongdoing that have undermined its legitimacy in the public eye. In July, the party announced it was investigating the country's ex-security chief, Zhou Yongkang, one of nine leaders in the party's ruling inner circle until his retirement in 2012, for serious violations of party discipline.

Liu's case is unusual because allegations were first leveled against him by a Chinese journalist, Luo Changping, then the deputy editor-in-chief of Caijing magazine, on his microblog in December 2012. Liu also had been director of the National Energy Administration, which initially dismissed Luo's allegations as "pure slander."