Two former Vietnamese information ministers have been
charged with corruption, state media reported Tuesday, a charge which
in the country carries the death sentence.
Nguyen Bac Son, who served as information minister from 2011-2016, was charged with "violating the regulations on management and use of public investment capital" and "taking bribes," state media reported.
Truong Minh Tuan, who served first as Son's deputy and then replaced him in the role until he was suspended last July, was charged with the same crimes. Son admitted receiving a three-million-dollar bribe as a kickback for facilitating a now-cancelled deal in which the mobile carrier MobiFone acquired a 95-per-cent stake in pay TV firm AVG, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing police.
Son, at the time information minister, approved the acquisition without approval from the prime minister's office. Tuan, who as his deputy signed off on the decision, admitted receiving a 200,000-dollar bribe from AVG former chairman Nhat Vu, the Tuoi Tre report said.
The deal was found to have caused a 307-million-dollar hole in Vietnam's budget. Former MobiFone chairman Le Nam Tra, who was arrested in July last year and charged with violating regulations of state capital management, admitted receiving a 2.5-million-dollar bribe from Vu, the police run newspaper Cong An Nhan Dan reported.
Vu was arrested in April for allegedly offering bribes, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement. Vietnam has seen a corruption crackdown in the past year under the leadership of Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Major players in state-owned enterprises, including oil executives, have been convicted.
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