Vietnam dismisses former information minister with retrospective effect

By Vo Hai   October 22, 2018 | 05:27 am PT
Vietnam dismisses former information minister with retrospective effect
Nguyen Bac Son is removed from the post for his violations in the state-run MobiFone’s acquisition of private TV AVG. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency
Former information minister Nguyen Bac Son has been retrospectively dismissed from the post, the National Assembly announced Monday.

The punishment was meted out for “serious violations” that he committed in the state-run telecom giant MobiFone’s acquisition of private pay TV firm AVG.

The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee had taken the decision last week to remove Son from his post as Minister of Information and Communications for the term 2011-2016.

Early this month, Son was also stripped off titles as member of the 11th Party Central Committee and Secretary of the ministry's Party unit for the term 2011-2016.

The punitive measures followed the Politburo, the Party's decision-making body, asking the Central Committee in July to initiate "strict" disciplinary action against Son.  

The Politburo held Son mainly responsible for violations committed by the information ministry's Party unit for the term 2011-2016. Son was found to have violated the democratic centralism principle and working regulations, enabling many very serious violations to take place.

Son directly approved the AVG acquisition against regulations and asked his subordinates to sign documents that did not abide by regulations, the Politburo said. 

MobiFone, the country's third largest telecom firm, made headlines early in 2016 when it announced it was breaking into the pay TV market with the acquisition of a 95 percent stake in AVG.

But the Government Inspectorate concluded that the deal had violated investment laws and caused an estimated loss of around VND7 trillion ($307 million) to the Government.

A criminal investigation into the deal was launched in July. Truong Minh Tuan was dismissed as Minister of Information and Communications in July for signing the illegal deal when he was serving as a deputy minister.

Son, born in 1953 in Hanoi, holds a doctorate degree in Economics. He was a member of the 10th and 11th Party's Central Committee, and a delegate of the 13th National Assembly.

He had worked in various positions as a military officer, assistant of former President Le Duc Anh, northern Thai Nguyen Province's Party Secretary, deputy head of the Central Propaganda and Training Commission and Minister of Information and Communication. 

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