A top economic official has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for accepting bribes and channeling bank finance to his son and close relatives.
Calling Liu Tienan (59), top official with National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) and head of the National Energy Administration (NEA), "morally degenerate", a disciplinary body of the CPC accused him of abusing his powers to seek benefits for relatives.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement, quoted by the state media, Liu "seriously violated Party discipline and might have broken the criminal law".
Liu headed the National Energy Administration from December 2010 until he was removed from the post in March this year after allegations against him were, in another case of online whistleblowing in China, posted online.
"Luo Changping, deputy editor-in-chief of Caijing magazine, said in a post on December 6 that Liu had committed multiple offenses including helping a businessman get loans from banks, and in return the businessman offered a large amount of money to Liu's son," state-run China Daily reported.
It added that the source of information about Liu's financial corruption was his former mistress, who had a dispute with Liu after "years in an intimate relationship."
The report said at least eight minister-level official have been under investigation since the end of last year.
Liu is one among several officials who have been sacked or suspended following largely online whistleblowing.
"To protect whistleblowers, authorities should launch immediate investigation into the cases that are the subjects of tip-offs and making public disclosure; observing absolute confidentiality regarding the whistleblowers' personal data, and preventing such information being leaked by anti-graft officers," state-run Xinhua news agency said on Friday in a commentary on protecting whistle-blowers.
"Moreover, there should be legal and regulatory mechanisms under which revenge against whistleblowers is severely punished, whistleblowers who have been victims of retaliation meet with immediate assistance and those whose tip-offs prove true should be rewarded," it added.
That might be the official stand but clearly not everything is being done to protect whistleblowers.
"At least six self-styled whistleblowers have been assaulted or harassed in recent months, according to media reports, Internet postings and several of the bloggers who spoke to Reuters," the foreign news agency reported on Thursday.