'Kidnapped' businessman gets a lifetime
hanoi - A man who was abducted from Berlin to Vietnam according to Germany was sentenced to life imprisonment there. The lawyer of 52-year-old Trinh Xuan Thanh complained that there were serious abuses in the process.
The court in Hanoi found the former top official of state-owned oil company PetroVietnam guilty of corruption. The German authorities think that Thanh was kidnapped last year by the Vietnamese secret service. He later claimed to have returned voluntarily in a video message.
Advocate Petra Schlagenhauf expressed strong criticism of the trial in a statement on Monday. She stated that at least one witness was pressured. The evidence against her client would also have been manipulated. She asked the German government to remain committed to the release of Thanh, which later must also occur in another case.
A former chief of the Communist Party was also convicted on Monday. Dinh La Thang, a former member of the politburo, received a prison sentence of thirteen years. He is the foremost politician who has been tried in the Asian country for years.
The authorities prosecuted a total of 22 people because of abuses at PetroVietnam. Thang and Thanh already apologized to the Communist Party.
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