Vietnam Trinh Xuan Thanh (picture alliance/AP Photo/Doan Tan)
Karlsruhe, Germany – German public prosecutors have pressed kidnapping charges against a 47-year-old Vietnamese man for the abduction of a Vietnamese oil executive who was spirited from Berlin last year so he could appear at a corruption trial in Hanoi.
The man is accused of being one of the agents who helped kidnap Trinh Xuan Thanh – the former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction (PVN) – and his companion on July 23, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.
If found guilty, the suspect could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for espionage and aiding and abetting false imprisonment.
According to the indictment, Vietnamese agents dragged Thanh into a van before delivering him to the Vietnamese embassy in Berlin. It remains unclear how he was returned to Vietnam.
Vietnamese secret agents, embassy employees and other individuals had planned and carried out the kidnapping, the indictment says.
The suspect is accused of being in charge of the logistics of the operation. He rented the van that was used for the kidnapping on July 20 in Prague. He was arrested in the Czech Republic on August 12 and extradited to Germany on August 23.
Trinh Xuan Thanh was given two life sentences for corruption charges in two separate trials in Vietnam last month.