Vietnam Party official to lose war honors for lying

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Four of the war veterans in Thua Thien-Hue Province who accuse Ho Xuan Man, former provincial Party chief, of making false claims about his achievements during Vietnam War. PHOTO: TUOI TRE

The Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam has asked that a former chief of the Thua Thien-Hue Province Party Unit have his war honors revoked in light of recent findings that he had fabricated his wartime achievements, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported Friday.

The order followed an investigation by the Party's Central Inspection Committee into the accusations by a group of veterans.

They said Ho Xuan Man lied about his accomplishments in Phong Dien District between 1964 and 1975 during the Vietnam War, in order to get the title of People's Armed Forces Hero in August 2010, one month before his retirement.

The inspection committee told a meeting at the Thua Thien-Hue Party Committee office with three of the accusers on January 2 that its investigation found that Man had been dishonest concerning eight of his 17 achievements.

It said three achievements involved attacks in which he was only a participant, rather than a leader, as he had claimed.

Four other achievements were baseless, while only two could be verified as true, it said.

Man joined the revolution in 1967 at the age of 19, not 1964 as he had claimed.

He did not organize or lead any highly successful battles like he had reported.

Man had claimed that between 1969 and 1975 he led nearly 100 attacks, killed 150 US soldiers and destroyed a US aircraft and 37 military vehicles.

He also claimed to have killed a local henchman of the US-backed Saigon-based regime, Nguyen Cong Dang, in Phong Son Commune. But that killing belonged to three local residents, the committee said. 

Based on the inspection committee's investigation, the Party Secretariat also asked that the medals and award money the government had granted Man be seized in accordance with the Law on Emulation and Commendation.

It ordered that the inspection committee direct relevant authorities to investigate the wrongdoings and fine any agencies or officials involved in the process of considering Man's achievements for the title.

But disciplinary actions against Man will be suspended until he finished treatment of a severe disease, it said, without specifying the disease.

The inspection committee also concluded that the chief of the provincial Party unit's office should be held responsible for confirming Man's achievements in a report for the hero title. Man, at that time, served as the provincial Party unit's chief.

Nguyen Ngoc Thien, the incumbent chief of the provincial Party unit, said his agency will punish those involved.

A Tuoi Tre reporter found that Man's application had been prepared by the provincial People's Committee, the local government, and agreed to by the province's Party unit and emulation and commendation council.

It followed proposals made by Phong Dien District's Party and People's committees, which were approved by military command units of Phong Dien and Thua Thien-Hue, the Command of Military Zone 4 and Ministry of Defense.

The Emulation and Commendation Central Committee evaluated the documents before submitting them to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approval.  

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