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Former health minister sentenced to 18 years in jail

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Nguyen Thanh Long, former Minister of Health, has received a jail sentence of 18 years for accepting bribes worth VND51 billion in the Viet A test kit price gouging case.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy in Hanoi handed down sentences on Long and 37 other defendants this afternoon, January 12.

For charges of accepting bribes, Pham Duy Tuyen, former director of the Center for Disease Control in Hai Duong Province (Hai Duong CDC) got 13 years behind bars; while Trinh Thanh Hung, former deputy head of the Department of Science and Technology under the Ministry of Science and Technology, got a sentence of 14 years in prison.

Nguyen Huynh, former secretary of former Health Minister Long, and Nguyen Nam Lien, former head of the ministry’s Financial Planning Department, were sentenced to nine and seven years in jail, respectively.

Phan Quoc Viet, founder and general director of Viet A Technology Corporation, received an imprisonment sentence of 29 years, the most severe penalty among the 38 defendants, for having given bribes and violating bidding regulations.

His two subordinates, Phan Ton Noel Thao and Ho Thi Thanh Thao, got four years in jail for having given bribes.

Regarding charges of violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, Chu Ngoc Anh, former Minister of Science and Technology, was handed down a sentence of three years in jail. Pham Cong Tac, former Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, also got the similar sentence.

Nguyen Thanh Danh, former director of the Binh Duong Provincial CDC, who was charged with violating bidding regulations and causing consequences, was exempted from criminal liability. The court said that Danh played a crucial role in Binh Duong’s efforts to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic, and steadfastly rejected bribes from Viet A Corporation.

Other defendants in the case received sentences of 30 months to five years in prison for various violations, including mismanagement of State assets, personal gain, and abuse of power while performing official duties.

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