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Vietnam court upholds jail terms for former deputy police ministers in graft crackdown

Friday, June 14, 2019, 18:03 GMT+7
Vietnam court upholds jail terms for former deputy police ministers in graft crackdown
Phan Van Anh Vu appears at a court in Hanoi on June 13, 2019. Photo: Giang Long / Tuoi Tre

A court in Hanoi on Thursday upheld jail sentences for a Da Nang business tycoon and two former deputy ministers in Vietnam’s police ministry charged in a high-profile corruption case.

The People's High Court of Hanoi upheld a 15-year term for business tycoon Phan Van Anh Vu, also known as Vu “Aluminum”, for "abuse of power and authority".

Bui Van Thanh and Tran Viet Tan, former deputy ministers of the Ministry of Public Security who were convicted for their “lack of responsibility” which led to “serious consequences” in the same case, also had their jail terms of 30 months and 36 months, respectively, upheld.

Thanh and Tan, the highest-ranking police officials to have been tried in the corruption crackdown, were accused of failing to prevent Vu from illegally taking over state assets, causing combined losses of over VND1.1 trillion (US$47.41 million) to the state budget.

The three were found guilty and were given their sentences by the People’s Court of Hanoi in January.

Tran Viet Tan, former deputy minister of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, arrives at a court in Hanoi on June 13, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
Tran Viet Tan, former deputy minister of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, arrives at a court in Hanoi on June 13, 2019. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Two other high-ranking ministry officials received jail terms of five years in the same case, but had their sentences reduced to by 1-1.5 years on Thursday.

Vu had earlier been sentenced to a combined 25 years in prison at two other separate trials last year for the deliberate disclosure of state secrets and abusing power to appropriate property.

Vu, who fled to Singapore, was arrested in Vietnam earlier last year.

The Vietnamese government has launched investigations into hundreds of public officials accused of mismanagement, with several executives at state-owned enterprises, including one former politburo member, being jailed for mismanagement and embezzlement.

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