German Court Convicts Vietnamese Man in Kidnapping Case

Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former chairman of state energy giant PetroVietnam’s construction arm, appears in court in January in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Associated Press
Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former chairman of state energy giant PetroVietnam’s construction arm, appears in court in January in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Associated Press

BERLIN — A Berlin court has convicted a Vietnamese man of involvement in a kidnapping case that has strained relations between Germany and Vietnam.

The capital’s regional court on Wednesday sentenced the 47-year-old to three years and 10 months in prison. He is identified only as Long N.H. because of German privacy rules.

Prosecutors accused the man of hiring a vehicle used to drive the former chairman of PetroVietnam’s construction arm, Trinh Xuan Thanh, and a woman accompanying him out of Germany.

Authorities say the pair were snatched off the street in Berlin last year by Vietnamese intelligence officials and other employees at the country’s embassy. Berlin accused Vietnam of breaking international law and kicked out the country’s intelligence attache.

Thanh was sentenced to life in prison in Vietnam for corruption.