12/10/2014, 00.00
CHINA
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China, top economist Liu Tienan jailed for life over bribery

Liu Tienan, former National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) deputy head, had already confessed to the charges, with court reports saying he had "lost the trust of bosses and colleagues. I deeply regret my actions".

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Liu Tienan, a former top economic official, has been jailed for life in China for accepting millions of dollars in bribes, state media report.

Mr Liu was the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) deputy head until he was sacked in August 2013.

The court in Langfang found him guilty of accepting about 35.6m yuan (£3.5m; .8m) in return for granting favours to businesses.

On Wednesday, the court north of Beijing ruled that Liu "took advantage of his post to seek gains for others, illegally took cash or gifts from others by himself or via his son Liu Decheng", AFP news agency reports.

He had already confessed to the charges, with court reports saying he had "lost the trust of bosses and colleagues. I deeply regret my actions".

In addition to the life sentence he had lost political rights for life, with all personal property and wealth confiscated, said Xinhua news agency.

His confession and his co-operation with the investigation meant he was spared the death penalty, said officials.

Liu's case was unusual in that allegations against him first came from a Chinese journalist. Investigative journalism that directly leads to prosecution of suspects is rare in China.

He was at the time one of the most senior officials to be detained after President Xi Jinping launched an corruption crackdown after coming to power in 2012.

China has been embarking on a drive to stamp out corruption among officials.

President Xi Jinping has spoken of his determination to tackle China's vast corruption problem

Last week criminal charges were brought against former security chief Zhou Yongkang, the most senior Chinese Communist Party official ever to face trial for corruption.

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