February 5, 2018 / 5:29 AM / 8 months ago

Court hands Vietnam oil official another life sentence for corruption

HANOI (Reuters) - A high-profile former Vietnamese oil executive was sentenced to life in jail for embezzlement on Monday, two weeks after was also imprisoned for life on similar charges in a separate case, state media reported.

PVC's former chairman Trinh Xuan Thanh is escorted by police officers from a court to prison after verdict session in Hanoi, Vietnam January 22, 2018. VNA/Doan Tan via REUTERS

Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former official whom Germany said was kidnapped by Vietnamese agents in a Berlin park in scenes reminiscent of the Cold War, was jailed for life for embezzling assets form Petroleum Power Property JSC (PV Power Land), the state-run Voice of Vietnam news website reported.

Thanh was a former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction. Both companies are units of Vietnam’s state oil and gas group PetroVietnam, among the biggest firms in the Southeast Asian nation.

Vietnam's Communist Party Politburo former member and former chairman of PetroVietnam Dinh La Thang listens during verdict session at a court in Hanoi, Vietnam January 22, 2018. VNA/An Dang via REUTERS

PetroVietnam is at the heart of Vietnam’s widespread corruption crackdown initiated by the ruling Communist Party.

Thanh was also sentenced to life in prison two weeks ago for violating state regulations and embezzlement in another corruption case that also involved Dinh La Thang, Vietnam’s highest-ranking politician charged in decades and also a former PetroVietnam chairman. Thang was jailed for 13 years.

Judges in the Hanoi court also sentenced another energy official, Dinh Manh Thang, to nine years in jail for embezzlement. He is Dinh La Thang’s brother.

Six others were also sentenced to jail terms of between 10 years and life, Voice of Vietnam reported.

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Paul Tait

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