Life in prison for China's former energy chief

Life in prison for China's former energy chief
Liu Tienan (C).

Liu Tienan, 60, a one-time leading light in China's energy industry, was sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery on Wednesday by a court in Hebei province.

The Langfang Intermediate People's Court found Liu guilty of receiving bribes worth 35.5 million yuan (S$7.5 million) between 2002 and 2012, when he was a department chief and later vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner.

Liu's case came to light when residents reported information via the Internet about possible graft.

He was found guilty of abuse of power by securing profits for four companies - including Nanshan Group, a chemical firm based in east China's Shandong Province, Zhongjin Petrochemical Co. Ltd. based in East China's Zhejiang Province, GAC Group in south China's Guangdong Province and Zhejiang Hengyi Group Co. Ltd. - as well as several individuals.

The court confirmed that all the dirty money amassed by Liu had been returned to the state.

Liu's trial closed in September but it took until Wednesday for the court to deliver its verdict.

Liu was the first ministerial-level official to face an investigation after Xi Jinping became Party head in late 2012 and his case is seen as the start of the country's online anti-corruption efforts.

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