June 1, 2015 / 4:44 AM / 2 years ago

China charges former senior energy official with graft

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese prosecutors have formally charged a former senior official at the National Energy Administration with corruption, the government said on Monday, as a sweeping crackdown on graft intensifies.

Wei Pengyuan, who was the deputy director of the administration’s coal department, is suspected of bribery and being unable to account for the source of a large number of his assets, the top prosecutor said in a statement on its website.

Wei has been charged by prosecutors in Baoding city in the northern province of Hebei, it added, meaning the trial will likely take place there.

It provided no other details.

An investigation into Wei was only announced last month, along with several other officials in the energy administration.

Liu Tienan, who had been head of the administration, was jailed for life last year after being caught up in a bribery scandal.

President Xi Jinping has vowed to go after powerful “tigers” as well as lowly “flies” is his fight against pervasive graft, warning, like others before him, that the problem is so severe it could affect the Communist Party’s grip on power.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

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