August 4, 2017 / 11:12 AM / 17 days ago

Vietnam's kidnapping of businessman reminiscent of Cold War movies-Germany

WOLFSBURG, Germany, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Germany asked a Vietnamese intelligence officer at the embassy in Berlin to leave the country as it believes he was involved in the kidnapping of a former oil executive accused of financial mismanagement back home, the foreign minister said on Friday.

"We didn't beg him to leave but rather we demanded that he leave because we strongly believe he is a person who was involved in kidnapping," German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said after talks in Wolfsburg with Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak.

"There is nothing to contradict this assumption, but rather everything supports this assumption that he, with the help of the Vietnamese secret service and using his residence in the Vietnamese embassy in Germany, abducted a person who had asked for asylum," Gabriel added.

Gabriel said Trinh Xuan Thanh, who Vietnam says had voluntarily returned home, "was taken out of Germany using methods which we believe one sees in thriller films about the Cold War. And this is something that we cannot accept."

Gabriel said Germany was considering further measures against Vietnam over the incident. He did not elaborate. (Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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