Vietnam to again try colonel convicted of helping corrupt brother flee

Thanh Nien News

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Duong Tu Trong (3, L) stands trial for helping his corrupt brother flee Vietnam. Photo: Ha An Duong Tu Trong (3, L) stands trial for helping his corrupt brother flee Vietnam. Photo: Ha An


This month, a court in northern Vietnam will try a senior police official serving a 16 year sentence for helping his brother flee prosecutors.
The Hai Phong City People’s Court said they will once again charge 53-year-old Duong Tu Trong, former deputy director of Hai Phong Police Department for “abuse of power.”
The trial is scheduled to begin on August 28, according to the court’s vice head judge Pham Duc Tuyen.
In January, Trong was sentenced to 18 years in jail by a court in Hanoi for masterminding a plan to send his brother Duong Chi Dung, 56, former chairman of the state-owned shipping giant Vinalines, abroad in May 2012.
In May of the following year, an appeal's court reduced his jail term to 16 years.
The coming trial is scheduled to consider new charges against Trong but will touch on the crime he's already been convicted for.
According to investigators, Trong asked Ho Chi Minh City customs official Dong Xuan Phong to help him smuggle his brother abroad.
Phong had himself dodged an arrest warrant issued in 2009 for smuggling and Trong, an acquaintance, chose not to arrest Phong after learning that he was in Hai Phong in 2011.
On May 17, 2012, Trong asked Phong to help get his brother abroad, which is considered an abuse of power under Vietnamese law.
Phong was sentenced to seven years in jail in January; the court also handed down jail terms from 5-13 years to five other suspects.
According to an official indictment, Trong's brother Dung was tipped off that a warrant had been issued for his arrest for his role in a dock purchase scam at Vinalines.
He then 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 where he flew to Singapore and applied for a visa to the US.
His application was rejected, forcing Dung to return to Cambodia where he was arrested on September 4, 2012 by a joint police task force.
Trong was arrested and stripped of his title at the Vietnam Maritime Association in February of 2013.
Dung and his subordinate Mai Van Phuc, Vinalines' former general director were convicted of directing eight others, mostly executives and employees at Vinalines, to purchase an unusable floating dock in Russia in 2008 for $9 million. 
Repairing the dock cost the state another $10.5 million.
Dung and Phuc have had their death sentences upheld for embezzling $474,000 each.

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