[JURIST] The Hanoi People's Court on Tuesday convicted nine defendants, including three former Vietnamese government officials, of gambling and bribery charges [JURIST report]. Bui Tien Deng, a former project management head in the Ministry of Transportation [official website], was sentenced to 13 years in prison for placing bets totaling $760,000 on European soccer matches and subsequently attempting to cover up the bets the by paying a bribe of $68,000. Seven other defendants were issued sentences ranging from three to seven years for bribery and gambling, while a single defendant received a two-year suspended sentence for bribery.
Dung, who headed the Project Manage Unit (PMU) 18, had faced a maximum punishment of death for bribery and up to 20 years in prison for gambling. The PMU 18 is responsible for the construction of roads and bridges across Vietnam. The gambling-bribery scandal has resulted in the resignation [VOA report] of Transportation Minister Dao Hinh Binh and the arrest of his deputy Nguyen Viet Tien. BBC News has more.