A Vietnamese court has sentenced a former intelligence deputy chief to 14 years in prison for taking a bribe worth VND5 billion (US$220,000) in 2017.
Nguyen Duy Linh, former deputy head of the Ministry of Public Security's General Department of Intelligence, received the jail term on Saturday, ruled by the Hanoi People’s Court in his absence for health reasons.
Linh, 50, was accused of receiving a VND5 billion bribe from Phan Van Anh Vu, his subordinate at the General Department of Intelligence, four years ago.
Vu, who was also chairman of Bac Nam 79 Construction JSC, was given a sentence of seven years and six months for offering bribes.
The last defendant of the case, Ho Huu Hoa, an acquaintance of both Vu and Linh, received a prison term of two years seven months 25 days, for brokering the bribery.
Since Hoa’s jail term was counted from March 12, 2019, when he was detained, the court announced his release after sentencing, as he was considered having finished serving the sentence.
According to the indictment, Vu was under investigation in June 2017 for intentionally leaking state secrets, along with other law-breaking cases in relation to the purchase, sale, and transfer of public houses and land in central Da Nang City as well as other localities.
Vu tried to contact Linh through Hoa to seek help and information related to the cases.
On December 17, 2017, Vu fled to Singapore after being informed by Linh that he might be investigated and arrested.
Three days later, an investigation was launched into Vu's revealing state secrets, but he had already traveled to Singapore.
He was then put on the international wanted list.
Vu was arrested by Singaporean authorities on December 28, 2017 for violating the Immigration Act of Singapore.
He was deported to Vietnam in early January 2018 and was detained for investigation.
Vu initially told investigators he had bribed Linh with cash, but he later changed his testimony, denying the indictment that affirmed he had given the intelligence deputy chief a bribe through Hoa.
Similarly, Linh denied receiving Vu’s money but admitted to taking gifts such as liquors, Lingzhi mushrooms, and cigarettes from him.
Meanwhile, Hoa confessed that he had acted as a bribery intermediary between Linh anh Vu.
In the face of the evidence as well as the relevant testimonies provided by the trial panel during the hearing, both the defendants eventually admitted to their crimes as stated in the indictment.
After Vu pleaded guilty to giving a bribe, Vu’s wife submitted the entire sum to the court on Friday, one day before the panel issued the sentences for the three defendants.