An appeals court in Vietnam has upheld death sentences passed on one of the country's most notorious gangsters, Truong Van Cam, and five of his men.
Nam Cam was tried along with 154 others
The six face death by firing squad for murder and other crimes.
Nam Cam (Fifth Orange), as he is better known, was convicted of ordering the killing of an underworld rival and trying to bribe state officials.
Asked before the verdict if he thought his death sentence would be reduced, Nam Cam simply smiled.
Once seen as one of Vietnam's most powerful figures
Found guilty of murder, bribery and five other crimes
56-year-old father of eight
He had been tried along with more than 150 co-defendants, including Vietnamese officials who profited from his illicit dealings.
Among them are the former head of state radio who had been a member of the Communist Party's powerful central committee, a disgraced deputy chief prosecutor and a former deputy police minister.
In his appeal, Nam Cam had denied ordering the October 2000 killing of a rival, Dung Ha, who controlled a vast crime network in northern Vietnam.
"At first I admitted my responsibility for the murder of Dung Ha because my lawyer said I could then be eligible for clemency," he told the VnExpress online newspaper.
"But I think the death penalty handed to me is unjust and so I am appealing."
Altogether, 69 of the 155 original defendants appealed against