HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam Ė A Vietnamese court jailed on Monday more than a dozen former directors of PetroVietnam over a corruption scandal at the state oil company, state media reported.
A Hanoi judge declared the individuals guilty of violating rules regulating economic management, embezzlement and misappropriation, among others, at the conclusion of a trial that began two weeks ago with 22 defendants, according to news website VNExpress.
Those imprisoned include former PetroVietnam president and ex-member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Dinh La Thang, who was sentenced to 13 years.
Another accused was former president of PetroVietnamís gas division, Xuan Thanh Trinh, who was sentenced to life imprisonment. According to German authorities, Vietnamese secret service personnel abducted Trinh in July in Berlin. The prosecutorís office in Germany, where Trinh had requested asylum, opened an investigation that led to the expulsion of two Vietnamese embassy diplomats believed to have been involved. Hanoi denied the kidnapping and said Trinh surrendered voluntarily.
The court sentenced Phung Dinh Thuc, deputy director general of PetroVietnam between 2008-2010 and chairman of the board between 2011-2014, to nine years in prison.
The rest of the defendants received sentences of between 17 months and nine years. Four others received suspended prison sentences and three were released.
The judge held those convicted responsible for losses of millions of dollars suffered by the public company in the construction of the power station Thai Binh 2 due to diversion of funds, embezzlement and delays in the work, according to VNExpress.
The plant is valued at $1.6 billion that was awarded in 2012 to the consortium formed by the Japanís Sojitz Corporation and South Koreaís Daelim Group.
The Communist regime of Vietnam last year launched an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign. It imposes capital punishment for embezzlements above $22,000 dollars and bribes higher than $13,200.
Vietnam, which set up PetroVietnam in 1977 to manage the countryís energy resources, is ranked 113 out of 176 in Transparency Internationalís Corruption Perception Index.