Fresh probe ordered as questions remain in Ca Mau corruption case

By Gia Bach, Thanh Nien News

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A file photo shows the project of upgrading the war martyrs' cemetery in Ca Mau's Nam Can District in 2012. Photo credit: VOV A file photo shows the project of upgrading the war martyrs' cemetery in Ca Mau's Nam Can District in 2012. Photo credit: VOV

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The Supreme People’s Court has ordered a new probe into the case of a Ca Mau official who has been convicted of receiving bribes from a contractor responsible for a local cemetery project. 
Investigators had been careless in collecting evidence and could not conclude what the bribes were for, the court announced on Wednesday. 
In August 2014, a court in Ca Mau sentenced Nguyen Trung Tam to 17 years in prison. The court said Tam, a senior finance official at the provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, had received VND200 million (US$9,030) from Phuong Nam Consultancy and Construction Company. 
The company was the contractor behind a project to upgrade a war martyrs' cemetery in Nam Can District that the labor department was overseeing.
Phuong Nam's director Le Thanh Phuong received 15 years and three months for giving bribes and defamation.
The court last year said Phuong had wrongfully accused Chung Ngoc Nhan, then director of the provincial labor department, of receiving VND575 million in bribes from him.
An investigation was launched in 2012 after Bui Le Oanh, an official of the department reported the case to relevant authorities. She submitted an audio recording in which Phuong said he had bribed several officials at her office. 
Police arrested Phuong in April 2013 and Tam a year later.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said investigators had failed to collect enough evidence regarding the reason why Tam was bribed and the defamation charges against Phuong. 
The court decided that both of them will remain in custody during the new investigation. 

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