The state-controlled media reported that Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV)’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong wants to “complete on schedule” to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate a series of major corruption cases. Although Mr. Trong’s furnace is still working, according to some observers, “the party severely punishes ones and imposes lighter measures on others.”
Many cases clearly exposed for decades and decades, no one could touch them, especially Mr. Le Thanh Hai and Tat Thanh Cang were only mildly disciplined for their serious mistakes in Thu Thiem land eviction.
A series of corruption cases involving many economic sectors from smuggling to land profiteering are being urgently requested by the CPV’s leaders to investigate and bring to court.
General Secretary cum State President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also the head of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-corruption, chaired the meeting on November 25.
It is reported that at this meeting, Its Standing Committee proposed an urgent investigation and strict handling of violations of related organizations and individuals in 5 cases and completing the first-instance hearing of the 5 cases. Another is described as “key, social opinion of particular interest.”
The case happened at Nhat Cuong Company with allegations of smuggling, money laundering, violation of regulations on accounting and bidding …, it was mentioned as one of 5 cases that needed “urgent investigation.”
The spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security last week in the announcement of the results of the “appropriation of state secret documents” (related to former Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung) said the number of secret documents was taken. There are some documents related to the Nhat Cuong case.
Major General To An Xo said in early August that the Ministry of Public Security would finish investigating the Nhat Cuong case in the third quarter of this year. However, it seems that the investigation of this case is “extended.”
Other cases that are urgently requested to be investigated and strictly handled include the case of the Danang-Quang Ngai expressway project, the case of loss, waste, property embezzlement “at the Saigon Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (SAGRI), Phase 2 production expansion project of Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Company, selling fake goods at the Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and VN Pharma Company.
5 cases that the Standing Committee of the Steering Committee describes as key, the public is particularly interested in and urgently needs to complete the first-instance hearing, there are cases of profiteering from the increase in the price of medical equipment for Covid-19 epidemic prevention force occurred at CDC Hanoi and a number of related units.
The remaining cases that need to be taken to the first-instance hearing are the “golden land” violation case in Ho Chi Minh City that happened at Sabeco Corporation, the case happened at PVB Company, the case at Yen Khanh Group Joint Stock Company, and the case at Dong-A Commercial Joint Stock Bank.
Commenting on the anti-corruption “burning furnace,” researcher Le Van Sinh from Hanoi National University told the BBC that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong knows better than anyone that the worsening corruption will destroy the CPV’s legacy, which will push the country to ruin.
Although Mr. Sinh said that the “firewood, burning stove” of corruption launched by Mr. Trong has brought certain results, according to him this work is “still not basic.”
“Anti-corruption must go hand in hand with radical reform of the party and government apparatus like the way Mr. Lee Kuan Yew did in Singapore …
“Unfortunately, Vietnam has not been able to do that … for Vietnam, an effective way to fight corruption is to reform political institutions in the model of democracy.
At that time, even Mr. Trong was not in a position anymore, the “firewood, furnace burning” work still operates smoothly and efficiently,” said the researcher from Hanoi National University.
What can see about Vietnamese politics through the prosecution of Nguyen Duc Chung?
“The state-controlled media has simultaneously reported the results of investigating the case of Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung not only corruption but also the crime of ‘appropriating classified state documents’ with ‘very sophisticated tricks.’ This is an indication that this case is about to go to trial,” Mr. Sinh told BBC.
“If the case trial is carried out before the 13th National Congress, in my opinion can be considered as a point case to send the message that the CPC still does not give up the “burning” started by General Secretary cum President Nguyen Phu Trong.”
“In my opinion, former Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung will have to receive a strict sentence, which is foreseeable.
However, when comparing this case with the disclosure of state secrets in the previous Duong Chi Dung case and the land corruption case caused particularly serious and lasting consequences in Thu Thiem, Ho Chi Minh City, it is seen that the party strictly punishes ones and imposes light measures on others.
The law without a restricted zone seems to be just a slogan.”
“Many strange things from the investigation information“
Before that, on November 23, Mr. Nguyen Huu Vinh, a former security major who had many years working in the Vietnamese Public Security, told the BBC:
“First of all, about the investigation against Nguyen Duc Chung, I find many strange things when reading information about the investigation conclusion. The first is the role of “mastermind the stealing documents to investigate Nhat Cuong’s grand conviction.” It is clear that with such position and experience, it is not natural for Mr. Chung to commit this serious case.”
“He must know for sure how dangerous the violations of his relatives or close to him in the Nhat Cuong case, how they may involve him, then make that reckless decision will become the subject, not even rule out the possibility of being an “accomplice” in the Nhat Cuong case.
“However, here they only prosecute Mr. Chung for “stealing ‘confidential documents,’ as if ‘separated’ the case into 2.3 different cases, or ‘freezing’ the case for …’ lightly’. It’s hard to believe ‘stealing’ has no purpose, very innocent and carefree, alien to the real person, his position.
“Next, there are some ‘strange’ points in the press details about the relationship of Mr. Chung with Mr. Pham Quang Dung. ‘Strange’ from the fact that Mr. Dung accepted to do such a terrible job, what was the motive, (only) $10,000, Mr. Chung gave, could not clarify the purpose, then the contact between the two people via phone, recorded and the conclusion of the investigation was that Mr. Dung recorded himself, then submitted it to the investigation agency, which is also strange.”
“Why should there be more details about the communication via the Viber system? Is it to make the public doubt that this is not a recording made by Mr. Dung, but from professional police measures? for a person who had not had a strong relationship for a long time, it was impossible for Chung to contact Mr. Dung directly many times that way.
And the fact that Mr. Dung broke in to steal documents, in my opinion, is too … funny. Who could mistake a box containing more than a dozen cell phones with a box (?) containing necessary documents for the purpose of the hack is?
In addition, there are many more ‘strange’ details that can only be clarified after the first instance trial,” Nguyen Huu Vinh told BBC from Hanoi on November 23, 2020.
Are there any lessons to be learned?
On November 24, lawyer Le Quoc Quan, a current observer from Hanoi, made his comment:
“In my opinion, if an investigation is completed, the investigation conclusion must be published. In Vietnam, the press often relies on the findings of the police to report, almost only one source and consider it official. However, it is not simply that, but in Vietnam, the media must have an orientation, especially for Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung, a member of the Party’s Central Committee, when he is arrested, he is the chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, of course, must have the political motive behind it.”
“In Vietnam, only one party is led, everything has no opposition and transparency. Politicians’ activities are overseen and managed by superiors, not by the public or by the press. The law is usually only known to the state agency and once they have decided to investigate, decide to arrest, all options, all types of offenses can be considered. they will go in that direction to arrest and convict.”
“Mr. Chung is a member of the CPV’s Central Committee and under the management of the Politburo, so it is necessary to decide how to arrest and handle him, on what behavior, in my opinion, there is an opinion from the Politburo. and the Secretariat. The lesson here for all officials is that there is no violation of the law, but if any, must be protected by their superiors, must belong to a crater strong enough to cover and give sank your misconduct.”
Observers questioned the professionalism and bias of the Vietnamese mainstream media and media when reporting on the defendants prior to domestic trial.
From Taipei, Taiwan, lawyer and journalist Trinh Huu Long told the BBC:
“As far as I know, the relevant information about Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung currently in the official press of Vietnam is one-way information, taken from the conclusion of the police investigating agency and this information is in a negative direction for Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung.”