The People’s Hanoi Court on Friday referred the “disclosing State secrets” case involving Deputy Minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo to local prosecutor’s office for handling.
Dao Van Cuong, deputy head of the Hanoi People’s Procuracy, confirmed the same day that his agency has received the case that will be handled according to Article 263 of the Penal Code. The court made the transfer after it ordered a commencement of legal proceedings into the case on January 8, based on the confession of Duong Chi Dung, ex-chairman of Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), who was sentenced to death last December on charges of “intentionally violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” and “embezzlement.” Dung made the confession on Wednesday when he appeared as a witness in the hearing opened by the court for his brother, ex-Colonel Duong Tu Trong, and six others who had helped him flee abroad to avoid being arrested for corruption in May 2012. Dung told the court that the incumbent deputy police minister, Senior Lieutenant General Pham Quy Ngo, informed him that he had been prosecuted and was about to be seized on May 17, 2012. Dung later fled abroad and was hunted internationally before being arrested on September 4, 2012. Dung also alleged that he had offered two bribes totaling US$510,000 to the deputy minister to avoid being investigated over the purchase of an old floating dock from Russia at unusually high prices. Dung also confessed that he received US$1 million from Mrs. Truong My Lan, director of HCMC-based Van Thinh Phat, to give to Ngo. This amount was related to a project at the Saigon Port, Dung told the court. However, Judge Truong Viet Toan, who chaired the trial for Trong and six others on Wednesday, said, “Regarding Dung’s testimonies regarding bribery between him and the deputy minister, the jury finds that there is not enough proof for the court to order a commencement of legal proceedings into this bribery case.” However, the jury has asked the Hanoi People’s Procuracy to launch an investigation to clarify Dung’s testimonies to determine whether Ngo actually received a total of US$1,510,000 in bribes.