Vietnam arrests tycoon accused of revealing state secrets

This picture taken on April 29, 2016 shows Phan Van Anh Vu, center, at a local event in the central coastal city of Da Nang. (AFP)
Updated 04 January 2018
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Vietnam arrests tycoon accused of revealing state secrets

HANOI: Vietnamese police said they arrested a business tycoon wanted for revealing state secrets after he was deported by Singapore on Thursday.
Vietnamese officials said in a statement that Phan Van Anh Vu will be investigated “in accordance with regulations of the law.”
The 42-year-old Vu is a real estate developer who also served as a senior officer in Vietnamese intelligence service. Police raided his home in the central city of Danang on Dec. 21 and issued an arrest warrant against him for revealing state secrets. Police did not say what the state secrets were.
Police are investigating nearly three dozen properties which were related to Vu. The properties had previously belonged to the state and were reportedly sold to Vu at below market price.
Vu was arrested in Singapore after using a false identity to enter the country last week, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said.
“He had entered Singapore using a Vietnamese passport bearing a false identity” and carried two other passports, the ministry said. It said Vu was deported for immigration offenses, but added that he was wanted under an Interpol Red Notice issued by Vietnam.
Vu’s lawyer in Singapore, Choo Zheng Xi, said the crimes his client is accused of back home could lead to a severe penalty.
“He was extremely stressed and frightened for his safety should he be returned to Vietnam,” Choo told The Associated Press.
Vietnam has stepped up its fight against corruption in recent months.
Germany in August accused Vietnam of kidnapping a former oil executive from a Berlin park. Vietnam rejected the accusation, saying Trinh Xuan Thanh returned home voluntarily to face justice.
The incident strained relations between Vietnam and Germany and Germany expelled two Vietnamese diplomats in retaliation.
Thanh along with Dinh La Thang, a former member of Vietnam’s all-powerful Politburo and a former chairman of state energy giant PetroVietnam, and 20 other executives are scheduled to stand trial next week for their roles in the alleged mismanagement of the construction of a power plant.
Thang will be the first former Politburo member to face trial in decades.


UN team to investigate ‘horrific’ massacre in central Mali

Updated 26 March 2019
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UN team to investigate ‘horrific’ massacre in central Mali

  • UN human rights office spokeswoman says the massacre in Ogossagou, in Mali’s Mopti region, mostly targeted people from the ethnic Fulani, or Peuhl, community

GENEVA: The United Nations is deploying crime-scene investigators, human rights officers and a child protection expert to central Mali to investigate intercommunal violence over the weekend that killed more than 150 people, one-third of them children.
Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani of the UN human rights office says the massacre in Ogossagou, in Mali’s Mopti region, mostly targeted people from the ethnic Fulani, or Peuhl, community.
She said Tuesday the “horrific attacks” signal a “spike in killings” in a cycle of violence in the region that has caused 600 deaths and displaced thousands since last March.
Shamdasani said the attacks appeared to be motivated by an effort to eliminate violent Islamic extremist groups active in Mali, but that “millions of people are being painted as violent extremists simply because they are Muslim.”