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Trinh Xuan Thanh makes public appearance on TV
The Saigon Times Daily
Friday,  Aug 4, 2017,21:59 (GMT+7)

Trinh Xuan Thanh makes public appearance on TV

The Saigon Times Daily

An image of Trinh Xuan Thanh captured from VTV's news broadcast last night - PHOTO:

HCMC – Trinh Xuan Thanh, former general director of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), made his first public appearance in the prime-time evening news program broadcast last night by Vietnam Television (VTV), admitting he had voluntarily turned himself in to police.

National television station VTV’s footage showed Thanh’s handwritten letter admitting his wrongdoing. He said he turned himself in to the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security due to his unstable life overseas as well as his anxiety and regret over his wrongdoing at PVC when hiding abroad.

“I decided to leave the country and hide in Germany without careful thought. My family, relatives and friends encouraged me to come back to Vietnam to plead for leniency,” Thanh’s letter wrote.

He also took his responsibility for the huge losses at PVC and its subsidiaries.

On Wednesday, the German foreign ministry accused Vietnam of kidnapping Trinh Xuan Thanh, who it said was seeking asylum in Berlin, and of taking him home to face accusations of corruption. Germany also ordered an officer at the Vietnamese Embassy to leave Germany within 48 hours, according to local media reports.

On the same day, the German foreign ministry asked the Vietnamese Government to send Thanh back to Germany immediately and would examine the Vietnamese side’s request for his extradition and Thanh’s asylum application.
Vietnam on August 3 dismissed Germany’s accusation and expressed regret over Germany’s statement.

At a regular press conference on August 3, Le Thi Thu Hang, spokeswoman for Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that an investigation is under way and Vietnam respects and wants to develop its bilateral strategic partnership with Germany.

Hang affirmed Thanh had turned himself in to the Vietnamese police in Hanoi City on Monday as announced by the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security.

Thanh, who also formerly served as a vice chairman of Hau Giang Province and held other senior positions at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, was prosecuted for allegedly violating the State’s economic regulations causing serious consequences at PVC and its subsidiaries. Then, he fled the country in mid-August last year.

In September, Vietnam issued an international arrest warrant for Thanh.

However, he turned himself in to the Vietnamese police on July 31.

Offshore oil drilling activities under Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction

Also at the regular press conference on August 3, spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang answered a question on the operation of a gas drilling platform offshore.

Asked about Vietnam’s reaction to the information that China threatened Vietnam with an attack on the drilling in the East Sea, Hang said Vietnam asks all the parties concerned to respect its rights, as well as legitimate and legal interests, actively and practically contributing to the maintenance of peace and cooperation in the East Sea.

The drilling activity began in mid-June in an area about 400 kilometers, or 250 miles, off Vietnam’s south-east coast. The Vietnamese side calls the region Block 136-03 and has leased it to a company called Talisman Vietnam, a subsidiary of Spain’s Repsol.

“Vietnam’s petroleum-related activities take place in the sea entirely under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Vietnam established in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” said the spokesperson.

Regarding the supposed suspension of the gas-drilling activity, she said the cooperation between Vietnam and the Spanish partner is a normal economic activity, and that the roadmap and process of the project is decided by the company on the basis of ensuring the rights and interests of the relevant sides.

She said the East Sea issues will be also discussed at the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting next week and other conferences in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. ASEAN and China’s foreign ministers will consider passing a framework for a code of conduct for the East Sea.

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