Vietnam upholds death sentences against shipping execs in major corruption case

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ha Noi Superior People’s Court on Thursday held an appeal hearing of Giang Kim Dat and three accomplices in a major corruption case that involves bankrupt State-owned firm Vinashin Ocean Shipping Ltd, or Vinashinlines. Giang Kim Dat escorted in the first instance court. – Photo tienphong.vn In an initial trial on February 22, the Ha Noi People’s Court handed death penalties for embezzlement to Dat, 40, Vinashinlines former sales manager; and his 62-year-old ex-superior and former director general Tran Van Liem. They were said to have embezzled at least VND255 billion (US$11.2 million) and VND3.3 billion ($150,000), respectively. Vinashinlines’ former chief accountant Tran Van Khuong, 67, received a life sentence for embezzling $110,000. In addition, Dat’s father Giang Van Hien, 76, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for money laundering. After the initial trial, all four defendants filed an appeal. According to the indictment, Dat, Liem and Khuong stole the money from deals to buy or lease foreign vessels and colluded with foreign partners to rig prices for personal profits. The money was transferred to multiple bank accounts in the name of Dat’s father, who later used it to buy several houses and cars. Dat fled when an arrest warrant was issued in 2012 and was eventually arrested in July 2015.  Vinashinelines was a subsidiary of the marine conglomerate Viet Nam Ship Building Industry Group (Vinashin). Ten Vinashin executives were arrested and brought to trial on embezzlement charges so far. The estimated state losses of…... [read more]

A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday sentenced a Lao man to life imprisonment for illegal drug trafficking. KhamChanh Daovone, 31, was arrested at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on September 23, 2013 after customs officials discovered 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) of cocaine in his luggage. Kham being escorted by a police officer. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen. Kham claimed his girlfriend Puoy gave him the suitcase and $800 for him to travel from Laos to the Philippines in September 2013. Upon arrival, he was greeted by an African man who claimed to be Pouy's friend and took Kham's suitcase for safekeeping. The African man returned the suitcase to Kham before he set off back to Laos, but he didn't make it that far and was arrested while transiting in Ho Chi Minh City after two bags of cocaine were found hidden in the suitcase. Kham claimed he did not know the suitcase contained drugs. However, the court on Wednesday dismissed his argument and agreed that he had to take full responsibility for the crime. Prosecutors had called for the death penalty, but the court decided to show leniency, saying he was a foreigner with a good background and the drugs had not made it onto the streets. Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or cocaine or more than 2.5kg of methamphetamine face the death penalty. The production or sale of 100 grams…... [read more]

Do Xuan Loi during the trial at the People’s Court in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Duong on August 15, 2017 The People’s Court in the southern province of Binh Duong gave Do Xuan Loi, 34, hailing from the north-central province of Thua Thien- Hue, the death penalty at the conclusion of his trial on August 15. Loi was the leader of a drug ring that operated across provinces from northern to southern Vietnam. He was charged with the sale and storage of drugs and the storage of military weapons. Three other members of the ring, namely Truong Ngoc Huan, Loi’s brother in-law, Tran Hung Tam, and Tran Manh Hung, all received life sentences for the sale of drugs. Four other members were given 20 year sentences each. According to the indictment, in 2015, Loi and his accomplices transported a total of seven kilograms of drugs from the northern city of Hai Phong to the southern region before distributing it to local addicts in small bags, each weighing 50 to 100 grams. Their trade was first uncovered after police in the southern province of Dong Nai arrested two men carrying 500 grams of drugs in their car after passing a tollgate on Bui Huu Nghia Street. The two suspects claimed they had bought the products from Loi. Police in Dong Nai later coordinated with their counterparts in Binh Duong Province to capture the mastermind and his associates. An…... [read more]

Doan Thi Huong (blue) at the court in Sepang, Malaysia.(Source: AFP/VNA) Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia and Malaysian lawyers defending Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese suspect in the murder of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea citizen Kim Chol, were present at the High Court of Shah Alam City on July 28 to protect her legitimate rights and interests. After the trial concluded, the embassy’s representatives and lawyers discussed with Huong about following litigation procedures. In the time ahead, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue close coordination with domestic agencies involved, the Vietnamese embassy in Malaysia and Malaysian lawyers to ensure Huong's legitimate rights and interests are protected. Doan Thi Huong, 28, is one of the two women suspects in the murder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) man named Kim Chol at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13.  Malaysia said Kim Chol was poisoned, but the DPRK insisted that he died of a heart attack, plus high blood pressure and diabetes.  At the court hearing on March 1, the two women were charged with murder but they denied and said that they were cheated to take part in an innocuous prank. According to the Malaysian law, they would face the death penalty if found guilty.-VNA... [read more]

The announcement was made after the first trial of the Shah Alam High Court concluded.  Judge Azmi Ariffin who chaired the trial said the next hearings will be from October 2-5, 9-10, 24-26, and November 6-9, 13-16, and 27-30, adding that defendants could enter their plea from the October 2 hearing.  As scheduled, the court will summon 30 witnesses and 10 specialists to the hearings.  On July 28, the two suspects wore bullet-proof coats and were taken to the court under tight protection of security forces.  Under the direction of Vietnam's Foreign Ministry, the  embassy of Vietnam in Malaysia will continue working closely with Vietnamese agencies concerned and Malaysian lawyers defending Huong to ensure the trial is fair and objective and Huong's legitimate interests are protected. Kim Chol, as named in his passport, died at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13. Malaysia said he was poisoned, but the DPRK insisted that he died of a heart attack, plus high blood pressure and diabetes.  At the court hearing on March 1, the two women were charged with murder but they denied and said that they were cheated to take part in an innocuous prank. According to the Malaysian law, they would face the death penalty if found guilty.... [read more]

The Shah Alam High Court of Malaysia announced on July 28 that the trial of Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah, the suspects in the murder of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) citizen Kim Chol, will last for 23 days, till the end of this November.  The announcement was made after the first trial of the Shah Alam High Court concluded.  Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong is taken to court Judge Azmi Ariffin who chaired the trial said the next hearings will be from October 2-5, 9-10, 24-26, and November 6-9, 13-16, and 27-30, adding that defendants could enter their plea from the October 2 hearing.  As scheduled, the court will summon 30 witnesses and 10 specialists to the hearings.  On July 28, the two suspects wore bullet-proof coats and were taken to the court under tight protection of security forces.  Under the direction of Viet Nam's Foreign Ministry, the  embassy of Vietnam in Malaysia will continue working closely with Vietnamese agencies concerned and Malaysian lawyers defending Huong to ensure the trial is fair and objective and Huong's legitimate interests are protected. Kim Chol, as named in his passport, died at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13. Malaysia said he was poisoned, but the DPRK insisted that he died of a heart attack, plus high blood pressure and diabetes.  At the court hearing on March 1, the two women were charged with murder but they denied and said that they were cheated to take…... [read more]

NDO/VNA – The Shah Alam High Court of Malaysia announced on July 28 that the trial of Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah, the suspects in the murder of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) citizen Kim Chol, will last for 23 days, until the end of this November. The announcement was made after the first trial of the Shah Alam High Court was concluded. Judge Azmi Ariffin, who chaired the trial, said that the next hearings will be from October 2-5, 9-10, 24-26 and November 6-9, 13-16 and 27-30, adding that the defendants could enter their plea from the October 2 hearing. As scheduled, the court will summon 30 witnesses and 10 specialists to the hearings. On July 28, the two suspects wore bullet-proof jackets and were taken to the court under close protection of security forces. Under the direction of Viet Nam's Foreign Ministry, the embassy of Vietnam in Malaysia will continue working closely with the Vietnamese agencies concerned and the Malaysian lawyers defending Huong, to ensure the trial is fair and objective and that Huong's legitimate interests are protected. Kim Chol, as named in his passport, died at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13. Malaysian officials claim he was poisoned, but the DPRK insist that he died of a heart attack, combined with high blood pressure and diabetes. At the court hearing on March 1, the two women were charged with murder but they denied the charge and said that they were…... [read more]

The Vietnamese and Malaysian suspects could face the death penalty if convicted. Malaysia will begin on October 2 the trial of two women accused of the dramatic killing of the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader, the High Court said on Friday. Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam, are charged with murdering Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13 by smearing his face with VX, a chemical the United Nations describes as a weapon of mass destruction. Appearing at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of the capital, Kuala Lumpur, both women were handcuffed and wearing bullet-proof vests over Malay traditional costume, consisting of a floor-length skirt and a blouse. "We will start in October," said Judge Azmi Ariffin. "The hearing has been fixed for the second." Both cases would be tried jointly, with pleas taken at the first hearing, he added. If convicted, the women could face the death penalty. Doan smiled during the hearing, but Siti Aisyah was in tears afterwards, with her lawyers seen trying to calm her. Defence lawyers have warned previously that they feared "trial by ambush", with police not sharing evidence. Prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad said the prosecution had given a further 33 documents and CCTV recordings to the defence, and would call between 30 and 40 witnesses, depending on the progress of the trial. "Having seen the CCTV recordings, I hope the judge will have a better understanding of how the…... [read more]

Immediately following the massacre in Norway on 22 July, there has been a debate on the challenge the country’s lenient judicial system faces in imposing fitting punishment on Ander Behring Breivik. According to the Reuters news agency, a survey of over 1000 people conducted six days after the attack showed that 65.5 percent said the penalties for serious crimes in their country should be tightened. Not only the legal system… Despite the serious consequences of the massacre and the deep wound to Norwegian society, many politicians and experts still share the view that there should be no change in their judicial system as it symbolizes a humane society where freedom is very important. Dr Nguyen Sy Dung, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Assembly Office, argues. “I think, in a developed society, law and punishment should be reduced so citizens can exercise their right to individual freedom. The more punishments are imposed, the less freedom people enjoy”. “Of course, the scale of law and punishment must depend on the development of society and people’s living standards,” says the Deputy Director. Dr Dung refers to a horrific crime that had been committed in Vietnam just one month after the Norway massacre. 17-year-old Le Van Luyen killed a couple and their 18-month-old daughter and cut off the arm of their other 8-year-old daughter while robbing their gold store in Bac Giang province. Almost everyone in the online community demands capital punishment to be meted out to the murderer. The death penalty is usually…... [read more]

Tsarnaev was found guilty in federal court of killing three people and injuring 264 others by detonating twin bombs at the finish line of the world-famous race in 2013. It was the worst attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. The jury will now decide whether Tsarnaev should be executed. "I’m glad the verdict came out this way. It is a first step toward closure, honestly," said Armando DiCianno, 34, a consultant from Boston who said he was nearby when the homemade pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowd of runners, volunteers and spectators. But DiCianno said he was less certain what outcome he hoped for in the sentencing phase. "I have always been against the death penalty, but when something like this happens to you, your opinions change a little bit," he said. After the verdict was read, bombing survivor Karen Brassard said at a news conference that she and other survivors were grateful for the guilty verdict. But she said the survivors also had differing views on whether Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty. Massachusetts scrapped the death penalty in 1984, but capital punishment is still available in cases that are under federal jurisdiction. Polls of Boston residents have shown the city generally favoring life in prison for Tsarnaev. One poll released by Boston's NPR news station WBUR in March showed 62% would favor life in prison for Tsarnaev, while 27% favored execution. A survey conducted by the Boston Globe in 2013, five months after the bombings, found 33%…... [read more]




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