National investigators detained a judge on Monday, to investigate allegations that he took a VND235 million (US$11,000) bribe to keep an official charged with embezzlement out of jail.
Nguyen Duy Hiep, 39, a judge at the Thanh Liem District People’s Court in Ha Nam Province, allegedly promised to help Do Duc Tuan, a former official in charge of ground clearance for public projects, get off with a suspended sentence in exchange for the cash.
Hiep was supposed to be officially promoted to the court’s presiding judge the day after his arrest.
News website VnExpress said Tuan’s family exposed Hiep after he sentenced Tuan to 12 years in jail on June 12 and refused to provide a full refund of the kickback.
The family says Hiep only returned VND155 million and claimed he spent the rest bribing officials at district and provincial agencies.
Tuan was tasked with compensating residents displaced by the construction of a district road in 2008. Instead, he colluded with other members of his government team to inflate construction costs and steal nearly VND25 million ($1,170) from the district budget.
He was charged of abuse of power.
Investigators say they're looking in to allegations that Hiep received another VND1 billion in kickbacks from the families of two other officials charged in the same case.