Three senior provincial officials facing trial for graft have been expelled from the Communist Party, according to state media reports. In Sichuan, former transport bureau director Liu Zhongshan has gone on trial at Chengdu Intermediate People's Court for alleged embezzlement of public funds. Xinhua said yesterday Liu colluded with a manager and a lawyer to take advantage of the acquisition of a shell company in 1998 to embezzle 10 million yuan (HK$9.3 million). Also on trial is Liu's deputy, Zheng Daofang. Xinhua said Zheng would soon be tried in a separate case along with his wife, Gao Jialan, and son Zheng Qin for allegedly accepting bribes. Through his wife and his son, Zheng allegedly accepted more than seven million yuan for the tendering of several highway contracts. Xinhua said Zheng had failed to explain the origin of more than 13 million yuan worth of properties and cash. Meanwhile, Meng Zhanbiao, the ex-head of the Hebei Finance Bureau, has been expelled from the party for illegally transferring 20 million yuan of public money into a private bank account. He will also face prosecution.