Convicted Ex-Vietnamese Shipping Firm Boss Drops Bombshell in Court

RFA, Jan 08, 2014

The former head of a beleaguered Vietnamese state shipping company sentenced to death for corruption has dropped a bombshell at a court hearing, saying he paid bribes to top officials of the ruling Communist Party in a futile bid to avoid arrest and prosecution, according to state media Wednesday.

Duong Tri Dung’s testimony that he paid U.S. $500,000 to Deputy Minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo and unknown amounts to other senior officials has triggered calls for a new probe following the near collapse of Vinalines under U.S. $3 billion of debt, the media reports said.

“I think they need to put the trial on hold and send the whole case to the prosecutors’ office to look into what Pham Quy Ngo said [on the issue],” a Vietnamese lawyer, Tran Vu Hai, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service as he analyzed the media reports, which had described Dung’s revelations as “shocking.”

Dung made the charges in a Hanoi court during the trial of his brother Duong Tu Trong, a former senior police official in the northern port of Hai Phong, who was on Wednesday sentenced to 18 years in prison for aiding his escape.

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