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Words in the News
 
Monday 17 November 2003
 
Vietnam Trial
 
Case of coins The trial has started in Vietnam of two former ministers charged with corruption. The men, Nguyen Thien Luan and Nguyen Quang Ha, are accused of embezzling about seven-and-a-half million dollars in state funds.
This report from Fiona Werge
 
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The two men are the latest senior government officials to be implicated in a major corruption scandal. If found guilty, they face up to twelve years in prison. They're accused, along with six other government employees, of embezzlement, abusing power and intentional wrongdoing.

The case centres on the director of a company, La Thi Kim Oanh, run by the agriculture ministry. She's accused of using bank loans for bribery and personal expenses. The two former ministers are charged with signing documents helping her to obtain the money. She then defaulted on nearly five million dollars worth of loans.

The opening of the trial was broadcast live on national television, the second time this year that a corruption case against senior officials has been televised. The ruling Communist party has made fighting corruption one of its top priorities in an effort to win the confidence of foreign investors. Many say red tape and officials who take bribes are major obstacles to doing business in Vietnam.

Fiona Werge, BBC, London
 
 
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latest
 
most recent
 
implicated
 
involved
 
corruption
 
dishonest and illegal behaviour by people in positions of power or authority
 
embezzlement
 
stealing of money; taking or using money illegally for yourself, when the money does not belong to you, but to a company or an organisation that you work for
 
abusing power
 
using power in the wrong way, for a bad purpose
 
centres on
 
concentrates on; if something centres on a person, that person is the main subject of attention
 
bribery
 
giving someone, often a person in a position of authority, a sum of money or something valuable in order to persuade them to do something
 
defaulted
 
failed to make a payment that she was legally supposed to make
 
top priorities
 
something that is a priority must be done as soon as possible - a top priority is the most important of the tasks to be done
 
red tape
 
rules and procedures which seem unnecessary and cause delay
 
 
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