|The defendants at the court. Photo: baogiaothong,vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Appellate Court under the Central Military Court has rejected appeals of two former major generals of the Coast Guard Lê Văn Minh and Lê Xuân Thanh in the case of smuggling 200 million litres of petrol.
Seven other defendants also appealed their sentences.
Defendant Nguyễn Thế Anh (former colonel, and former deputy director of the Border Guard's Drug and Crime Prevention and Control Department) appealed against his conviction of taking bribes, but the court rejected his bid.
The judges did, however, reduce his life sentence to 20 years for receiving bribes and an additional two years for 'organising the illegal emigration of other people'.
The court also rejected the appeal of defendant Nguyễn Văn An, Thế Anh’s cousin, and upheld the original sentence of 15 years in prison for ‘taking bribery.’
The appeals of defendants Lê Văn Minh (former Major General, Commander of Coast Guard Region 4 Command), Nguyễn Văn Hùng (former Colonel, former Head of Trường Long Hoà Port Border Guard Station, Border Guard of Trà Vinh Province), Lê Xuân Thanh (former Major General, Commander of Coast Guard Region Command 3), Phạm Văn Tên (former Colonel, Commander of the Border Guard Command of Trà Vinh Province), and Nguyễn Thanh Lâm (former Lieutenant Colonel, former Captain of Squadron 2, Sóc Trăng Province Border Guard Command) were also rejected.
Their original sentences of 15 years, 16 years, 12 years, 10 years, and 11 years imprisonment respectively, as per the first-instance judgement for taking bribery, were upheld.
They will also not be allowed to take up positions in any State organisation for five years after completing their prison sentences.
The court accepted part of the appeal of defendants Phạm Hồ Hải, Former Chief Representative of Cần Thơ Port Authority in Duyên Hải Town, Trà Vinh Province, and Lê Văn Phương, former deputy head of Trà Vinh traffic police department. Defendant Hải got a more lenient four years in prison, and defendant Phương’s sentence was reduced to three years.
The judges also announced the confiscation of more than VNĐ9.3 billion (US$393,700) into the state budget that the defendant Nguyễn Thế Anh pledged to repay. It was noted that the defendant and his family have voluntarily paid VNĐ5.6 billion of the amount so far. — VNS