Vietnam’s top anti-corruption official loses cancer battle, dies at 62

Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Ba Thanh, head of the Central Interior Commission and the former populist leader of Da Nang, in a file photo. He passed away at 1 p.m. on February 13 in Da Nang after a nine-month battle with cancer.            Nguyen Ba Thanh, head of the Central Interior Commission and the former populist leader of Da Nang, in a file photo. He passed away at 1 p.m. on February 13 in Da Nang after a nine-month battle with cancer.

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Nguyen Ba Thanh, head of the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency, died on Friday (February 13) at his home in Da Nang, after a nine-month battle with cancer that included a trip to the US to seek advanced treatment. 
Thanh, born April 8, 1953, was declared dead at 1 p.m., soon after being discharged from the Da Nang Hospital.
Pham Gia Khai, a senior health official who takes care of senior Party members, told Thanh Nien that he slipped into a coma on Wednesday. 
“Both western and traditional Vietnamese medicines couldn’t help. His condition was too serious,” Khai said.
Thanh, a Da Nang native, was the leader of the Central Interior Commission, an organ tasked with advising the Communist Party on anti-corruption efforts and the appointment of high-ranking personnel.
He was diagnosed last May with myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of cancer that inhibits one's bone marrow from making enough normal red blood cells to beat out abnormal cells. 
Thanh sought treatment in Singapore in June and July, and then in the US in August.
He underwent chemotherapy three times before returning to Vietnam on January 9, officials said.
Before his return, there was rumor that he was poisoned, but officials dismissed this.
For many in the central city of Da Nang, Thanh was a politician who spoke up for the people and do what it takes to protect their interests. 
He was the city's Party Chief between 2003 and 2012.
Many say he helped turn the city into a modern, attractive and outward-looking place, with a good business environment that can rival, or even surpass, that of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
A wake ceremony will begin around noon Saturday (February 14). Thanh will be buried on February 18 in his hometown Da Nang, his family said.

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