Punishment of high-ranking officials will deter corruption: Party chief

By Hoang Thuy   December 30, 2019 | 04:50 pm GMT+7
Punishment of high-ranking officials will deter corruption: Party chief
Former Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan at the Hanoi People's Court yard, December 20,2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

Stringent punishments for corrupt high-ranking officials will act as a deterrent against similar behavior, says Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong.

Trong was referring to an infamous private TV firm acquisition case where two former information ministers have been given long jail terms including a life sentence.

He said at a government meeting Monday that the case was unprecedented in several aspects - two former ministers being punished for bribery and the highest value of assets ever recovered by the government at VND8.5 trillion ($368.7 million).

The case has served to be "educational" and is a "wake up call" and a "deterrent" for future crimes, Trong said.

The government and its units should not be afraid to fight corruption for fear it would hamper development, he noted, adding that Vietnam’s corruption crackdown was not "extreme."

Party Chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong at a government meeting on December 30, 2019. Photo courtesy of Government Portal.

Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong at a government meeting on December 30, 2019. Photo courtesy of Government Portal.

The Hanoi People’s Court last Saturday handed down a life sentence to Nguyen Bac Son, former Minister of Information and Communications, for violations related to the illegal acquisition of private pay TV firm Audio Visual Global (AVG) by state-owned telecom giant MobiFone.

Truong Minh Tuan, then the deputy information minister, another main accused in the case, was jailed for 14 years.

Both of them were found guilty of "violating regulations on the management and use of public capital that led to serious consequences" and "taking bribes." They were arrested in February and expelled from the Communist Party in October. Son received $3 million in bribes to push for the acquisition.

Other defendants included Pham Nhat Vu, chairman of private pay TV firm AVG, who was sentenced to three years in prison for the charge of bribery. Former chairman of MobiFone, Le Nam Tra, was sentenced to 23 years in jail while MobiFone's former general director Cao Duy Hai got a jail term of 14 years.

Vietnam’s corruption crackdown has intensified since it was launched in 2017, and a number of high-ranking officials, top military officers and businesspeople have been imprisoned.

Trong, who has been spearheading the country’s anti-corruption campaign, has repeatedly said the fight would maintain its momentum and spare no one.

 
 
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