The Hanoi People's Court on July 6 announced the sentences for Bui Tien Dung, former General Manager of Project Management Unit 18 (PMU18) and eight accomplices for embezzlement at the Bai Chay Bridge Construction Project.

Dung was sentenced to seven years in jail for "abusing positions and power while performing Government duties" and seven other defendants were found guilty of the same crime including Nguyen Vu Nam (nine years); Nghiem Phu Son (seven years); Le Minh Giang (six years); Nguyen Cong Dung (six years); Nguyen Huu Minh (four years); Nguyen Huu Long (five years) and Tran Duc Hung (three years).

Only Do Kim Quy, who was charged with "using assets illegally acquired by others", was sentenced to two years' probation.

In 2007, PMU18, which operates under the Ministry of Transport, formed the epicentre of a major corruption scandal which has remained unresolved for the last three years. Top officials were accused of spending public funds for personal purposes, with former General Director of PMU 18 Bui Tien Dung sentenced to 13 years in jail for gambling and offering bribes.

In 2009, Dung and his accomplices were further accused of "deliberately acting against the State's regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences" and "abusing positions and power while performing official duties."

Dung was then sentenced to three years in jail after the People's Procuracy recommended a sentence of four to six years.

Dung will now have to serve a total of 23 years./.