Vietnamese prosecutors to visit Japan in graft probe

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A delegation from the People's Supreme Procuracy will visit Japan to verify documents relating to a bribery scandal bribery in a Japanese-funded infrastructure project, Thanh Nien has learnt.


The source, who wanted to remain unnamed, said because the two countries were yet to have bilateral agreements on mutual judicial support, this will be attempted through diplomatic channels.


Meanwhile, Huynh Ngoc Si, former head of Ho Chi Minh City's East-West Highway and Water Environment project, was transferred to Hanoi Tuesday for further investigation into allegations he accepted millions of dollars in bribes from leaders of Pacific Consultants International (PCI) in return for awarding contracts to the Tokyo-based company, Tuoi Tre reported.


The accusations were made by four former PCI executives in November 11, 2008 as they were being tried in Tokyo for violations of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, which prohibits bribing of foreign government officials.


The scandal led Tokyo to temporarily suspend official development assistance (ODA) loans to Vietnam in December the same year.


However, it was only after 4,000 pages of materials received from the Japanese agency were translated that nspectorates placed Si under investigation in January.


The ex-official was sentenced to six years in jail at an appeals court last month for pocketing VND1.2 billion (current US$62,959) obtained by illegally leasing office space to PCI from August 2001 to November 2002.


His subordinate Le Qua was sentenced to five years in prison on the same charges.

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