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Sunday, May 9, 1999 Published at 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Major corruption trial opening in Vietnam

One of the biggest fraud and corruption trials to be held in Vietnam opens on Monday in Ho Chi Minh city, where seventy-seven people are facing charges involving illegal property deals.

The key defendants are a businessman, Tang Minh Phung, and his partner Lien Khiu Thin, who are accused of defrauding state banks of hundreds of millions of dollars.

In a similar large scale trial of smugglers last month, two defendants were sentenced to death and more than seventy others were given long prison terms.

Correspondents say the legal actions are part of a countrywide crusade against corruption.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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