Judges suspended for bribery probe in northern Vietnam

By Ngoc Minh, Thanh Nien News

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Two district magistrates and a court assistant in the northern province of Thanh Hoa were suspended Wednesday after an extortion suspect announced that he'd bribed them to reduce his sentence.
Nguyen Thanh Bo, the province's presiding judge, signed a three-month suspension order for Trieu Son District Magistrates Le Ngoc Hiep and Le Thi Thu.
Le Sy Thuan, an assistant at the district People’s Court was also suspended.
Bo said Supreme Court officials have traveled to the province to investigate the bribery allegations.
The three were scheduled to try Nguyen Ba Quy, former chairman of Tien Nong Commune in the district for graft early this month.
Quy allegedly met Hiep personally before the trial and asked for a reduced sentence.
The two judges allegedly asked the disgraced chairman to hand the bribe money to their assistant.
Quy did as instructed, only to publicize the payoff to government agencies and the media immediately afterward.

News Website Dan Tri said Quy tape recorded his conversations with the judges as well as their assistant.
He claims that he is only seeking help as he believes he was framed for the charge.

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