Vietnamese Ambassador: Abducted entrepreneur had never been to Slovakia

Slovakia was in no way involved in kidnapping Vietnamese entrepreneur Trinh Xuan Thanh, claims PM Pellegrini.

Trinh Xuan Thanh during his trial in Vietnam. Trinh Xuan Thanh during his trial in Vietnam. (Source: AP/TASR)

The Vietnamese Ambassador in Bratislava, Minh Trong Duong, officially announced to the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry that Vietnamese businessman Trinh Xuan Thanh had never been to Slovakia, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer) said on Thursday after an informal EU summit in Sofia.

“The Vietnamese ambassador can definitively confirm that the person in question, who was kidnapped in Germany, was not in the delegation that was departing from Bratislava,” said Pellegrini. “Only official members of the Vietnamese delegation boarded the aircraft. The person in question has even never been to Slovakia. This was the official information provided by the Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to our minister,” said Pellegrini.

The prime minister is therefore glad that his words confirm that Slovakia was in no way involved in kidnapping this citizen outside the Schengen borders.

Read also:German media: Vietnam kidnapping throughout Slovakia

He added that this is new information and he should take it into consideration. He believes that it shines a new light on the whole case and that Slovakia could stop explaining that it was not part of a conspiracy or an organised action, said Pellegrini.

The German media reported that Thanh, 51, was kidnapped from Berlin by the Vietnamese secret service while the country’s Minister of Public Security, To Lam, was in Slovakia in the summer of 2017. Based on the German press, some suspects were seen with Lam in Bratislava, and the Slovak Interior Ministry even provided a plane to the Vietnamese delegation after a sudden change in its plans.

Thanh, who was convicted of corruption and embezzling millions of dollars by a court in Vietnam, fled the country in 2016 and sought political asylum in Germany. Berlin has accused Vietnam of abducting Thanh, calling it a violation of German and international law. Germany indicated that Slovakia could possibly be involved in the abduction. Slovak officials have declared several times that the country had nothing to do with it.

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