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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Former Health Minister seeks leniency at court of appeal

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Former Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long attended the court of appeal session this morning at the High People’s Court in Hanoi, seeking a commutation of his 18-year prison term for taking bribes.

The session marks the beginning of a three-day hearing that will also reconsider the sentences of Phan Quoc Viet, CEO of Viet A Technology Corporation, and 10 other defendants involved in the Viet A test kit scandal.

The trial involves more than 10 lawyers who will defend the accused and protect the rights of related organizations and individuals.

On January 12, the Hanoi People’s Court issued first-instance judgments for 38 defendants in the case, sentencing Nguyen Thanh Long to 18 years in jail for accepting bribes. Phan Quoc Viet received a 29-year prison sentence for giving bribes and violating bidding regulations, which led to serious consequences.

According to the verdict, during the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, the defendants facilitated Viet A’s involvement in a national research project on Covid-19 test kits, managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The research products were then taken over by Viet A, enabling the company to generate significant illegal profits through the nationwide sale of overpriced Covid-19 test kits.

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