February 7, 2018 / 2:24 PM / a year ago

Vietnam prosecutes tycoon for abusing power during 'official duty'

(Reuters) - A Vietnamese property tycoon who was sent home from Singapore to face charges of spilling official secrets will also be prosecuted for abusing power while on official duties, Vietnam’s police said on Wednesday.

Phan Van Anh Vu, 42, had told his lawyers that he was also a senior officer in the secret police, but this has not been publicly confirmed by Vietnam’s security ministry.

Vu was arrested last month on his return from Singapore, which sent him home despite appeals that his life could be in danger.

The Ministry of Public Security said it had issued a prosecution order against Vu for “abusing position and power while performing official duty”. It also ordered his detention for four months.

The Communist country’s laws say abuse of power is an offense that applies to officials, including members of the security forces.

Reuters was unable to reach Vu for comment and it was not able to establish whether a lawyer was representing him in Vietnam.

Foreign lawyers representing Vu in his efforts to leave Singapore for Germany had quoted him and his family as saying he was a senior officer in the secret police.

Singapore authorities said he had entered the country on a passport with a false identity while carrying another Vietnamese passport with his real identity and also had a third passport in his possession.

Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Alison Williams

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