Vietnam’s highest court on Friday reduced the jail term for a former senior police officer to 16 years for helping his brother, who was sentenced to death in a high-profile corruption case, flee the country in 2012.
Duong Tu Trong, 53, former deputy police chief of Hai Phong City, was sentenced to 18 years in jail by a court in Hanoi in January for masterminding a plan to send Duong Chi Dung, 56, former chairman of the state-owned shipping giant Vinalines, abroad in May 2012.
Trong and five other accomplices appealed the verdict.
The Supreme People’s Court today said Trong had "showed remorse” and admitted to his crime, so it decided to reduce the jail term for him.
However, the court upheld the jail terms, ranging from five years to 13 years, of the five accomplices, including two former police officers and a customs officer of Hai Phong.
According to the indictment, on May 17, 2012, Dung, then director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, was tipped that his arrest warrant had been approved for his role in a dock purchase scam at Vinalines.
He called Trong, who sent other defendants to take Dung to the northern province of Quang Ninh, then Ho Chi Minh City, and finally the southern province of Tay Ninh.
From Tay Ninh, he was driven to Cambodia and flew to Singapore to apply for a visa to the US.
However, his application was rejected and Dung had to return to Cambodia, where he was arrested on September 4, 2012 by Vietnamese police in collaboration with Cambodian agencies.
Trong was arrested and stripped of his title and powers in February 2013.
Early this month, Dung and his subordinate Mai Van Phuc, Vinalines' former general director, got their death sentences upheld for embezzling $474,000 each.
They were convicted of directing eight others, most of whom were executives and employees with Vinalines, to purchase an unusable floating dock from Russia in 2008 for $9 million. Repairing the dock cost another $10.5 million.
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