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Ex-Chinese Official Confesses to Accepting Millions in Bribes


FILE - Liu Tienan, then deputy chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), attends a news conference in Beijing, February 27, 2009.

A former senior Chinese official has confessed to taking millions of dollars in bribes.

Liu Tienan is the ex-deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, which is in charge of steering the world's second largest economy.

He is the latest Chinese official to be brought down in a highly publicized campaign meant to weed out corruption in the Communist Party.

A court in the northern province of Hebei said Liu took $5.8 million in bribes. Some were in the form of cash. Others were gifts, including a Porsche and a Beijing villa.

Transcripts from the one-day trial held Wednesday in the northern province of Hebei show the 59-year-old tearfully confessed to the crimes.

Prosecutors are asking for leniency, but Liu is almost certain to be found guilty, since Chinese courts are controlled by the Communist Party and virtually never rule in favor of the defendant in such cases.

A verdict is expected to come at a later date. He faces ten years to life in prison, if convicted.

The allegations against Liu were first made in 2012 by a journalist at the Caijing investigative magazine. He was later expelled from the Communist Party and placed under investigation.

Liu is among the highest ranking Chinese officials brought down by President Xi Jinping's corruption campaign.

Earlier this year, the party announced it placed powerful former security chief Zhou Yongkang under investigation for corruption.

President Xi has warned that corruption is rampant within official circles and that it could threaten the party's grip on power.