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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 15:19 PM | 08-01-2018

‘Kidnapped’ oil exec on trial

The corruption trial of a Vietnamese former oil executive who was allegedly kidnapped from Germany opened on Monday (Jan 8, 2018) in Hanoi, a high-profile case that can carry the death sentence, AFP reported.

Vietnam’s communist government has embarked on a snowballing anti-corruption campaign, which observers say is politically driven and mirrors a graft crackdown in neighbouring China.

Scores of former officials, bankers and state executives have been arrested or jailed, including a senior banker who has been sentenced to death.

On Monday a court in Hanoi said it had started proceedings against Trinh Xuan Thanh, the former head of state-run PetroVietnam Construction, for alleged mismanagement and embezzlement.

Thanh appeared before the court together with ex-politburo member Dinh La Thang and 20 other senior officials.

They are accused of causing $5.2 million of losses for the state during an investment by PetroVietnam in the construction of a thermal power plant.

German authorities say Thanh was kidnapped from a Berlin park in July and have decried the brazen Cold War-style seizure as a “scandalous violation” of its sovereignty.

Vietnam denies the kidnap and insists the fugitive Thanh had returned home voluntarily to face the charges.

“This is a very serious case, drawing wide public attention,” said an online announcement by Hanoi’s People’s Court, adding the accused all held key positions at major state-owned institutions.

After a two-week trial, Thang and Thanh could face 20 years in jail for mismanagement.

In addition Thanh faces an embezzlement charge, which can carry the death penalty.


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