Graft: life term sought for oil baron
HANOI: Vietnamese prosecutors in a high-profile corruption case recommended a life sentence for an oil executive allegedly kidnapped by Vietnamese agents in Berlin last year, a lawyer for the defendant said yesterday.
Trinh Xuan Thanh, the former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction (PVC), a subsidiary of the state oil company PetroVietnam (PVN), fled Vietnam to Germany in 2016 to evade criminal charges.
He resurfaced last August in Vietnamese police custody.
Germany accuses Vietnamese intelligence agents of kidnapping him in broad daylight as he walked through a park in the heart of Berlin. Vietnam denies spiriting him away.
Prosecutors at the trial in Hanoi claim that Thanh, as well as the company’s chief executive, were involved in a forgery scheme to embezzle 13 billion dong (R7.2 million), of which Thanh allegedly pocketed $180 000 dollars.
While Thanh denies embezzlement, he has admitted to a separate charge of economic mismanagement linked to a contract he asked a subordinate to sign with PVN to build a thermal power plant in northern Vietnam in 2011.
The government says the deal resulted in a $5.4m loss to the state.