01 Sep '11, 4am

Sentence cut for Vietnam official in graft scandal

HANOI: An appeal court in Vietnam on Thursday reduced to 20 years the jail term of a former senior official at the centre of a corruption scandal that led Japan to suspend aid, a court official said. Huynh Ngoc Sy, born in 1953, was originally sentenced to life in prison at a trial in Ho Chi Minh City last October. He maintained his innocence. Sy was accused of taking bribes of up to $262,000 in 2003 from a Tokyo-based company in connection with a major infrastructure project -- a highway linking the east and west of the city -- backed by Japanese aid money. Sy was deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City's transport department at the time and headed a team in charge of major road schemes. "The court decided to reduce Sy's life sentence to 20 years," the court official from Ho Chi Minh City told AFP, requesting not to be named. At the hearing, which began on Tuesday in the sout...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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