2 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 10/16/2008
VIETNAM
Vietnamese journalist jailed for exposing regime scandal
by Thuy Dung
Four defendants stood before the court for exposing the PMU 18 bribery affair. Those who defended themselves got harsher sentences.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – After a two-day trial a Hanoi court handed down a two-year sentence to a journalist, a year sentence to a former police officer, a warning to another journalist and house arrest for the former chief of the investigative police. All four defendants had been charged in connection with the worst scandal to hit Vietnam’s Communist regime.

The affair involved Project Management Unit 18 (aka PMU 18), a plan to spend millions of dollars to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, which instead ended up as bets on European  soccer matches, money to buy luxury cars and pay for mistresses and prostitutes.

The scandal, which broke wide open in 2006, compromised several senior government and party officials. The Transportation minister had to resign and his deputy minister got 18 months in prison.

However, even though the government tried quietly to sweep the affair under the rug, ordering new trials that ended in acquittals and reinstatement in the party, two journalists exposed 40 “other” officials who gave and took bribes to hush up matters. It was rumoured that among these “other” officials there were even more senior political leaders. And so we had this trial.

In traditional Stalinist fashion the official report by state-run VNA news agency noted that all “four defendants said that their offences were professional errors and pleaded for clemency on the grounds of their previous contributions as well as health reasons.” The trial, the report explained, “touched upon the responsibilities” of the newspaper’s editors-in-chief where the “ex-reporters had made erroneous reports.”

The first statement is plainly not true whilst the second is an obvious threat.

In fact 56-year-old journalist Nguyen Viet Chien challenged the charges, especially that of “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state.”

“With my journalist conscience, I can say I never have any other purpose in mind when writing my reports” other than “exposing wrongdoing and fighting corruption,” he told the court.

“When PMU 18 [affair] was discovered, the whole political system of this country was focused on the issue," he added.

In the end he got two years in prison for his pains.

The other journalist, 33-year-old Nguyen Van Hai, did admit his errors and so got house arrest.

Colonel Dinh Van Huynh defended himself on the first day of the trial and said nothing on the second and was sentenced to a year in prison.

Police Major General Pham Xuan Quac, 62, who headed the investigation, did not utter a word during the trial and only got an official “warning”.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/16/2008 VIET NAM
Government announces intention to return land around La Vang shrine
by J.B. An Dang
09/22/2008 VIETNAM
Thugs attack Thai Ha Catholics as police look on
by J.B. An Dang
08/27/2008 VIETNAM
After 30 years Caritas is reborn in Vietnam
by Nguyen Hung
05/14/2009 VIETNAM
Bishop of Ban Me Thuot to renew the mission among the Montagnards
by Thanh Thuy
02/21/2007 VIETNAM
Fr Nguyen Van Ly arrested in Huế

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.