Vietnam Tries Former Oil Executives in Widened Crackdown

A woman cycles past one of the many banners depicting the Vietnamese flag, November 2016 in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam has begun a major corruption trial against defendants who include a former senior Communist official and a former oil executive the Vietnamese government is accused of snatching from Germany.

Dinh La Thang, a former Politburo member and former chairman of state energy giant PetroVietnam, is accused of mismanagement in a thermal power plant.

Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former chairman of PetroVietnam’s construction arm, is accused of the same charge as well as embezzlement.

Thang is the first former Politburo member to face prosecution in decades.

In August, Germany accused Vietnam of kidnaping Thanh from a Berlin park in an incident that strained bilateral ties.

The trial Monday involves the two men, along with 20 others who are mostly current or former senior oil executives.

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