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Viet Nam: Anti-corruption Group Told to Take Tougher Action When Prosecuting
Source: english.vietnamnet.vn
Source Date: Friday, July 09, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Viet Nam
Created: Jul 12, 2010

VietNamNet Bridge – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday, July 8, urged the Central Anti-corruption Steering Committee to uphold its power to more effectively deal with prominent corruption cases.

Dung, speaking at the CASC's 13th meeting reviewing its first six months of anti-corruption activities, said that the committee needed to focus its management on the investigations and prosecutions in key and complex corruption cases.

The committee's report said that in the first half of this year, anti-corruption measures had been effective. More than 30 ministries and State-owned agencies and 57 cities and provinces had submitted their declarations on property and incomes from last year. Procedural bodies have for the first six months found and introduced 81 cases, prosecuted 122 cases and tried 100 cases for charges related to corruption.

These anti-corruption actions had been strengthened, the committee said, helping uncover 11 serious and complex corruption cases that had been fairly tried. The fair judgements had also received support from the public, with the cases involving the top two leaders of the East-West Corridor project management unit as an example.

Huynh Ngoc Sy, director of the project, was sentenced to six years in jail for abusing power and embezzlement, while Le Qua, the project's vice director, received a five-year term for the same charges. They both received three years more than the previous charges.

In the case of Tran Ngoc Suong, former director of Hau River Farm, who was charged for embezzling VND1.1 billion (US$57,800), was being reconsidered following public claims of unfair judgement.

The committee is working on another 13 critical cases including the power abuse in Ha Noi Airlines Petroleum Company and embezzlement and bribe-taking in Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The committee frankly pointed out weaknesses in their anti-corruption activities over the last six months. It failed to punish all the leaders of units where there were corruption cases and a number of corruption cases were processed slowly, and some were even not tried properly. It had also failed to do well in overseeing relevant bodies on inspecting and bringing corruption cases to light.

To overcome those shortcomings, chief of the People's Supreme Procuracy Tran Quoc Vuong said that it was necessary to establish a Central Judiciary Assessment Centre to help make ensure objectivity and accuracy of the appraisal results.

The media and press had played an important role in the fight against corruption, deputy minister of Information and Communication Do Quy Doan said, and they needed to take more responsibility in their jobs. Doan asked relevant bodies to give journalists more chances and information to make sure the media and press gave out accurate information to the public. He also asked the committee to propose a document that would increase the role of the media and press in the anti-corruption battle to the Central Party Secretary Committee, which would replace the old one introduced in 1986.

In giving ideas to the committee's activities, vice chairman of the Central Inspection Committee Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, suggested that co-ordination among Party's offices with the committee and relevant bodies should be strengthened.

To be most effective in fighting corruption, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong said that procedural and relevant bodies needed to take more responsibility and improve their co-operation to shorten the time spent dealing with such cases. Trong asked the committee to complete its work on dealing with the case involving the Viet Nam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), which traded 3 million shares, by the end of this year, and to speed up the process with other cases.

The inspection and auditing of management activities for land use, public investment, corporate finance usage, taxes and customs should be done under tight co-ordination with the Party's inspection offices to make sure they were completed under the planned times and with fair judgement, said Dung.

The PM said that it was necessary to promote administrative reform in the fields of land, taxes, customs, finances and business.

The media and press, Dung said, should uphold their constructive revolutionary roles in the fight against corruption, and relevant bodies should pave the way for journalists to do their jobs by providing them with full and accurate information.
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