News / Asia

Vietnamese Executives to Appeal Corruption Death Sentence

VOA News
The lawyer for a Vietnamese shipping executive says his client will appeal his death sentence from a high-profile corruption trial.

Duong Chi Dung and Mai Van Phuc, senior officials with the state-owned Vinalines company, were both sentenced to death Monday after being found guilty of embezzling nearly $1 million and mismanaging state funds that caused more than $17 million in losses. Eight others convicted in case were given prison terms of four to 22 years.

Vietnam has been conducting a high-profile campaign against corruption. Last month, a former banker and his business associate were sentenced to death for embezzlement.

Lawyer Tran Dinh Trien, who represents Dung, said in an interview with the VOA's Vietnamese service Tuesday that the sentence was unfair.

“There was not enough evidence to prove that they are guilty of embezzlement. In court, I asked for further investigation into the case. I agreed with a notion that we have to fight hard against corruption with all means, but it was inadequate to sentence them to death like that," said Trien.

He says his client, who was arrested in Cambodia last year after several months on the run, will appeal his sentence within 15 days. It is not yet known if Phuc will also file an appeal, but it is likely, considering the harsh sentence.

Rampant corruption has sparked public anger in Vietnam, where graft and mismanagement at large state-run firms is seen by many as the cause of the country's sluggish economy.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

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