Beijing: China’s former top energy czar and economic policymaker went on trial today for taking “advantage of his position” and accepting bribes worth USD 6 million, as the ruling Communist party’s anti-corruption drive intensified.

The trial of Liu Tienan, 59, a former head of the National Energy Administration and ex-deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission, began at Langfang City Intermediate People’s Court in Hebei province, a court statement said.

Liu was one of the early officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to have been arrested soon after President Xi Jinping took over as the head of the party in November 2012.

His case came to light after a reporter of Caijing magazine accused him in his microblog of fabricating academic credentials, accepting bribes and keeping a mistress.

Liu was charged with bribery and abuse of power by prosecutors.

He was accused of taking “advantage of his position to seek profit for others and had illegally accepted a particularly large amount of property”, prosecutors said.

They called for penalties that could see Liu jailed for life, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

The court released a photo of Liu, clad in a black jacket and standing stiffly in court flanked by two uniformed court police officers.

Liu had accepted more than USD six million between 2002 and 2012 in bribes either by himself or through his son Liu Decheng, prosecutors said.

He returned over USD 3.1 million following investigations into his case, they said.

The bribes came from various businessmen in exchange for benefits such as project approvals and assistance in securing car dealership, the statement said.

Liu, who was elected an alternate member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party during the 18th party congress in November 2012, was placed under investigation in May last year and was expelled from the Party three months later.

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