Ex-officials get jail terms in memorial statute's corruption

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A court in the northern province of Dien Bien Monday handed jail terms totaling more than seven years to two former officials for corruption, causing losses of VND7.3 billion (US$374,731) to state budget.


According to the indictment, while being at hem of the project, Luong Phuong Cac, former vice director of Dien Bien Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and his subordinate Le Van Vien made violations of regulations on investment management and bidding.


The project was to build a statue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic Dien Bien Phu victory of 1954, which resulted in the French withdrawing from most of Indochina.


Soon after it was opened in 2004, the VND40 billion ($2.05 million) statute developed cracks and rust, prompting agencies to launch an investigation.


The provincial People's Court gave Cac and Vien the sentence of 44 months and 25 days each.


It also sentenced Vo Thi Hong, former director of the Central Fine Arts Company, to 25 months and four days in prison for "power abuse."


Meanwhile, another five defendants were given suspended sentence, or released at the trial because their custody was equal to their sentences.


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