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Two Vietnam officials jailed in Japan aid scandal: court

They were jailed in connection with a corruption scandal that led to the suspension of Japanese aid to the country. -AFP

Fri, Sep 25, 2009

HANOI - Two Vietnamese officials were jailed on Friday in connection with a corruption scandal that led to the suspension of Japanese aid to the country, a court official said.

Huynh Ngoc Sy received a three-year sentence and his deputy Le Qua was jailed for two years, said the court official in southern Ho Chi Minh City.

At the trial, which lasted just over one day, they were accused of abusing their positions in the exercise of their public duties. Sy was responsible for Ho Chi Minh City's largest infrastructure development project, a highway linking the city's east and west.

He and Qua were accused of renting state offices to Japan's Pacific Consultants International (PCI) for 80,000 dollars, between 2001 and 2002, but not including the money in official accounts.

The two officials deducted 350 million dong (19,915 dollars) for "receptions" and divided the rest among dozens of employees and managers, the court said.

It said Sy pocketed 52 million dong and Qua took 54 million dong. In March, a Tokyo court issued a suspended jail sentence to Masayoshi Taga, former president of Tokyo-based PCI, after convicting him of bribing Sy.

PCI gave Sy a total of 820,000 dollars in kickbacks to secure contracts, the Japanese court ruled. In January the court imposed a fine of 70 million yen (772,000 dollars) on the company and sentenced three other former executives to suspended prison terms.

Japan, Vietnam's biggest bilateral donor, resumed new aid loans to Vietnam in March after suspending them during the PCI scandal. Vietnam has pledged to use the loans effectively.


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