Accessibility links

Vietnamese Communist Party Expels 2 Members for Corruption

Vietnam's ruling Communist Party has expelled two senior members for corruption. The party's Central Committee also has agreed to a new cabinet lineup that apparently left most the top leadership unchanged.

After meeting behind closed doors for more than a week, the powerful Central Committee made few changes to the cabinet. Party sources say President Tran Duc Luong and Prime Minster Phan Van Khai are expected to keep their posts, with only mid-level ministers being changed.

The Central Committee has not made public its line up for the new cabinet.

Party sources say the Central Committee decided to expel two of its members. Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Quoc Huy and the former director of Voice of Vietnam radio, Tran Mai Hanh, have been linked to an organized-crime scandal.

Mr. Hanh was fired from the state radio station last month after he was accused of helping reputed gangster Nam Cam gain early release from prison in 1996. Mr. Huy, formerly director of the Ho Chi Minh City Police, is accused of turning a blind eye to Nam Cam's operations for years.

Both men were stripped of their membership on the 150-member Central Committee, but there were mixed reports on whether Mr. Huy would keep his job at the public security ministry.

More than 100 officials have been arrested on suspicion of having links to Nam Cam, who was re-arrested last December. He goes on trial for new charges next month.

Among the other cabinet changes expected to be announced, Trade Minister Vu Khoan, who negotiated the recent landmark trade agreement with the United States, is expected to be promoted to deputy prime minister.

Defense Minister Pham Van Tra is retiring, to be replaced by his deputy, Nguyen Huy Hieu.

The new cabinet must be approved by the National Assembly, which meets Friday for the first time since elections in May.