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Dec 28, 2019 / 14:08

Former info minister gets life sentence for receiving bribery

The sentences partly show the Party and State's efforts to combat corruption regardless of the positions which the infringers have.

A Vietnam former information minister has been convicted of life sentence on the closing day of the two-week trial of MobiFone-AVG acquisition case, which took place in 2016.

Nguyen Bac Son, former minister of Information and Communications (MIC). Photo: Zing

Nguyen Bac Son, 66, former minister of Information and Communications (MIC), will spend the rest of his life in prison for “violating regulations on managing public investment, causing serious damage” and “taking bribe”, local media reported Saturday.

In the investigations and at the court, Son admitted to having taken US$3 million from Pham Nhat Vu, chairman of private pay-TV firm Audio Visual Global JSC (AVG).

One day before the jury announced the punishment, Nguyen Bac Son’s family returned the US$3 million in bribes that he was paid.

Former MIC minister Truong Minh Tuan, 59, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the same charges. He received US$200,000 worth of bribes from Pham Nhat Vu. 

Le Nam Tra, former chairman of the Board of Directors of state-owned giant telecom MobiFone, received a jail sentence of 23 years. He was accused of the same charges like the two former ministers. Tra took US$2.5 million worth of bribes from AVG Chairman Pham Nhat Vu. He also paid back all the money to state coffers.

MobiFone’s former General Director Cao Duy Hai, who received US$500,000 from Vu, will bear a jail term of 14 years.

Chairman of AVG Pham Nhat Vu got a sentence of 3 years behind bars for “giving bribes”.

All the four defendants paid back the illegally appropriated money to the state. 

Nine other defendants were charged with “violating regulations on managing and using public capital that causes serious consequences” with jail terms from 2 and a half to 6 years in prison each. 

The acquisition of AVG began in 2015 in which MobiFone decided to buy 95% of AVG's stake worth US$8.9 trillion (US$387 million). The overpriced deal caused a loss worth VND6.5 trillion (US$282 million) to the state.