Court secretary arrested for taking bribes

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Police in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai said a secretary in a local court has been detained  for allegedly taking bribes to help a defendant in an attack case receive a shorter jail term.

Tu Ngoc Cuong was caught red-handed receiving VND15 million (US$720) from Pham Thi Diu, 25, at a local café on Monday, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Phap Luat TPHCM (HCMC Law) paper said the police had conducted the bust following a tip-off from Diu.

It said that on January 11, Diu went to the Bien Hoa Town People's Court to complete procedures and pay compensation to Tran Huu Thao, who was injured by her younger brother Pham Van Duy.

After the procedures were completed, Cuong told Diu to stay, saying that the case could not be solved by lawyers, because the decision would be made by the judge at a trial set to be open on Tuesday.

He asked Diu to give him money so he could pay the judge, according to the report.

On Monday, Diu met Cuong at his office, where she gave him VND3 million ($144), but the official said it was not enough.

When Diu asked how much she should pay the judge, Cuong said it depended, adding that she should pay an amount that is "equal to" the sentence between seven and 12 years.

Diu then said the VND3 million was for Cuong, and that she would give him more to pay the judge. After that Diu reported the case to Phap Luat TPHCM and local police.

Later the same day she asked Cuong to meet her at a café to receive money, and the official was busted when he was putting VND15 million into his pocket.

The case is being investigated further.

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