Four defendants in “repatriation flight” case get life imprisonments


The Hanoi People’s Court on July 28 announced sentences for each of the 54 defendants in the case of “repatriation flights” after three weeks of trial and deliberation.

The highest sentence - life imprisonment – was imposed on three defendants for the charge of “taking bribes”, comprising Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, former Director of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Pham Trung Kien, former secretary of a deputy minister of health; and Vu Anh Tuan, former officer of the Immigration Department at the Ministry of Public Security. Hoang Van Hung, former head of the investigation division of the Investment Security Department at the Ministry of Public Security, also got a life sentence for the charge of "fraudulent appropriation of assets”.

Sharing the same charge of “taking bribes,” To Anh Dung, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, was sentences to 16 years in jail; Do Hoang Tung, former Deputy Director of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 years; Nguyen Quang Linh, former assistant to a Deputy Prime Minister; and Tran Van Du, former Deputy Director of the Immigration Department at the Ministry of Public Security, each seven years; Tran Van Tan, former Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Quang Nam province; and Nguyen Thanh Hai, former Director of the International Relations Department of the Government Office, each six years; and Chu Xuan Dung, former Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, three years.

The defendants charged with “giving bribes”, included representatives of many businesses, received prison terms ranging from 7 to 11 years.

The court also handed down a five-year sentence to former Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Public Security Nguyen Anh Tuan for “brokering bribery.”

According to the first-instance judgment, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government ordered organizing repatriation flights for overseas Vietnamese. Specific tasks were assigned to the Government Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other relevant ministries, and some municipal and provincial People’s Committees.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy said that this was a particularly serious and complicated case. The defendants had taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to commit the crimes, which had occurred at many different ministries, sectors, and localities. Most of the charges were classified as “particularly serious” and “particularly dangerous for society”.

The defendants taking bribes were those holding high positions and power in state agencies. After committing the crime, there were signs of collusion with one another to conceal their crimes. Some defendants did not make sincere statements or admit their crimes.

The indictment read that under the Party and State’s policy, the arrangement of more than 1,000 flights to repatriate over 200,000 Vietnamese citizens from 62 countries and territories was a demonstration of the State’s humanitarian policy. The purpose of the flights was good, but this policy was stained by degenerate officials, eroding its reputation in the eyes of the people and the international community./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency