Prosecutors seek life sentence for ex-official in corruption trial

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Prosecutors on Saturday said there was enough evidence to find a former official guilty of accepting bribes to award contracts in major road project.

They've asked a court in Ho Chi Minh City to punish the official with a life sentence.

Huynh Ngoc Si is accused of taking US$262,000 in bribes from officials of Japanese consultant firm PCI while he oversaw the East-West Highway Project in the city.

According to prosecutors, three PCI officials have admitted that they gave him the money on May 28, 2003.

Two of them also said that Si let them know about the criteria for the selection of contractors so that PCI could have the best bid for the project.

The trial started on Friday and is expected to last until Monday.

On Friday, Si denied the bribery charge, saying he "did not take any money" and "did not do anything to benefit PCI."

Si is currently serving a six-year jail term for an "abuse of power" conviction involving the same case

Four PCI officials pleaded guilty in a Tokyo court in 2008, saying they had paid a total $820,000 in bribes to Si.

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