Govt expresses ‘pity’ over Germany’s accusation
HANOI: Vietnam’s foreign ministry on Thursday expressed “great pity” over a Germany statement accusing Vietnam of kidnapping a former oil executive, and said Hanoi wants to develop a “strategic relationship” with Berlin.
Germany’s foreign ministry on Wednesday accused Vietnam of kidnapping Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former executive at state oil company PetroVietnam, who faces charges of financial mismanagement in Vietnam.
Vietnamese police on Monday said Thanh had turned himself in that day after a 10-month international manhunt.
“I feel great pity about the statement on Aug 2 by the German Foreign Ministry spokesman,” Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Le Thi Thu Hang said here.
“Vietnam respects and wants to develop strategic partnership with Germany.”
Prior to the ministry’s statement, the government and state media went silent yesterday, a day after Germany’s accusation.
Ministry said it was considering action to an “unprecedented... breach of German and international law” over the abduction of
Thanh, who is accused of causing around US$150 million (RM642 million) in losses at PetroVietnam.
Thanh was not mentioned on Vietnamese government websites yesterday and state media did not report Germany’s accusations.
Thanh, 51, was a former high flyer at PetroVietnam Construction JSC, part of PetroVietnam. He came to public attention last year when he was found to have a Lexus with a government licence plate, causing an outcry in a country where officials are expected to live modestly.
That prompted the head of the Communist Party to order an investigation into his career and how he had been given promotions despite the alleged losses at the company.
Thanh took sick leave last year and went abroad, vanishing from the public eye until now. Germany’s Sueddeutsche newspaper reported he had requested asylum after his arrival in Germany and had been due to appear at a hearing about the request on July 24. Reuters
Trinh Xuan Thanh