September 19, 2014 / 6:44 AM / 5 years ago

China to try former senior planning official for corruption

Liu Tienan, then head of the National Energy Administration and deputy chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), attends a news conference about Spring Festival transport in Beijing in this January 8, 2012 file photograph. REUTERS/Stringer/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court will next week try a former deputy head of its top planning agency with corruption, state media said on Friday, after allegations against him were posted online and as the government pursues a high-profile campaign to root out graft.

Liu Tienan was sacked in May last year. Luo Changping, deputy editor-in-chief of the investigative magazine Caijing, posted accusations on his microblog in late 2012 that Liu was involved in a number of illegal activities.

Liu’s trial will open on Wednesday in Langfang in the northern province of Hebei, close to Beijing, the China News Service said, without providing further details.

Liu is accused of abusing his government positions and taking bribes, China’s state prosecutor said in June.

He had been deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, a powerful body that sets broad economic policies and approves major investments, and also head of energy regulator the National Energy Administration.

Liu is certain to be found guilty as the Communist Party controls the courts, which do not challenge party accusations, especially in graft cases. It has not been possible to reach him for comment.

State media reported that Liu had taken bribes for helping a businessman to defraud banks of loans of more than $200 million in 2011 for an investment in Canada and that key information on Liu’s case initially came from a former mistress in Japan.

President Xi Jinping, who became president in March last year, has made fighting pervasive corruption a central theme of his administration, warning the problem is so severe it could threaten the party’s very survival.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie

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