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Former health minister faces 20-year jail term

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Nguyen Thanh Long, former Minister of Health, might be imprisoned for 19 or 20 years for having taken an exceptionally high bribe, VND51 billion, in the Viet A test kit price gouging case which was detected during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy in Hanoi today, January 8, announced its indictment proposing sentencing two former ministers and 36 defendants in the case after three days of trial.

Long is confronting the most severe penalty among the six individuals prosecuted for accepting bribes.

A jail term of 13-14 years was proposed for Pham Duy Tuyen, former director of the Center for Disease Control in Hai Duong Province (Hai Duong CDC), while Trinh Thanh Hung, former deputy head of the Department of Science and Technology under the Ministry of Science and Technology might get 14-15 years behind bars.

The prosecution also proposed a jail term of 8-9 years for Nguyen Minh Tuan, former head of the ministry’s Department of Health Equipment and Works, and Nguyen Nam Lien, former head of the ministry’s Financial Planning Department.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Huynh, former secretary of former Health Minister Long; and Nguyen Minh Tuan, former head of the ministry’s Department of Health Equipment and Works, might receive a imprisonment sentence of 9-10 years.

Phan Quoc Viet, founder and general director of Viet A Technology Corporation, faces a jail term of 15-16 years for having given bribes and another 15-16 years in prison for violating bidding regulations and causing serious consequences. His combined sentence recommended is 30 years in jail.

Vu Dinh Hiep, deputy general director of Viet A, could stay for 16-18 years behind bars for the same charges.

For charges related to abusing power while performing official duties, the prosecution proposed sentencing Pham Xuan Thang, former Secretary of the Hai Duong Province Party Committee, and Pham Manh Cuong, former director of Hai Duong Department of Health, to 5-6 years in prison.

Former Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh is facing a sentence of 3-4 years behind bars for violations of regulations on management and use of State assets causing loss and waste.

Other defendants who are accused of various violations, including mismanagement of State assets, personal gain, and abuse of power while performing official duties, may face sentences of 30 months to 15 years in prison.

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