Reuters International

BEIJING (Reuters) - A former senior Chinese provincial official overseeing graft busting efforts will himself be prosecuted for suspected corruption after an investigation found he took more than $200,000 (141,303 pounds) in bribes and gifts, state media said on Thursday.

Fang Keyou had been a deputy head in the eastern province of Anhui of the graft inspection teams Beijing has sent out across the country as part of President Xi Jinping's war on deep-seated corruption, the official Xinhua news agency said.

But an investigation found he himself had been engaging in corrupt practices, including covering up the corruption of others, fraud, extortion and taking more than 1.4 million yuan ($215,900) in bribes and gifts, Xinhua said.

Fang has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and his case handed over the legal authorities, the report added, meaning he will be prosecuted.

It was not possible to reach Fang for comment and unclear if he has retained a lawyer.

The party, which controls the country's legal system, has repeatedly insisted it can tackle China's corruption problem internally, ruling out establishing any sort of independent graft-fighting body.

China has jailed dozens of senior officials since Xi launched a sweeping campaign against graft after assuming office more than three years ago, vowing to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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