Two police officers testify about abduction of Vietnamese businessman

Their testimonies prompted the prosecutor to launch a criminal prosection.

Trinh Xuan ThanhTrinh Xuan Thanh (Source: AP/TASR)

Two police officers who testified in the case of the abduction of the Vietnamese businessman Trin Xuan Thanh, confirmed that they saw the man being dragged onto the Slovak governmental airplane.

Their testimonies, which to a large extent confirm the version of the story as reported by the Denník N daily in cooperation with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung earlier this summer, mean a breaking point in the investigation of the case, Denník N reported.

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“The assigned prosecutor, after having studied the voluminous case file, issued an order for the investigator to launch criminal prosecution for the crime of limiting personal freedom,” the Bratislava Regional Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Michal Šúrek told the daily.

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Thanh was reportedly abducted in July 2017 in Germany and taken to Vietnam while Vietnamese official To Lam was officially visiting Slovakia. Some of the people suspected of involvement in the kidnapping appeared in Lam’s presence in Bratislava, and the Slovak Interior Ministry even provided a plane for the Vietnamese delegation to travel from Prague to the Slovak capital, and later Moscow, after what the Vietnamese described as sudden changes in their plans.

Denník N in its earlier reports cited several police officers as saying that the whole action was approved by the then interior minister Robert Kaliňák. The investigation has not confirmed this so far, the daily writes regarding the latest developments.

Read also: Political scientist: Vietnamese kidnappers maybe did not care about being exposed Read more 

Denník N in its latest story admits to a few mistakes in its original report. In its earlier stories it cited some police officers as saying that the convoy that took the Vietnamese delegation to the airport was accompanied by five motorcycles, which was not true and that the officers might have confused it with a March 2017 visit of another Vietnamese delegation. Also, the daily originally wrote that Kalinak’s bodyguard accompanied the Vietnamese delegation onboard the governmental plane to Moscow, but he, in fact, did not fly out with the delegation the daily now admits.

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The police inspectorate has also heard the testimony of the passport control officer who checked the passports of the Vietnamese delegation. He said that all of them had papers of the Vietnamese Socialist Republic but not all of them were diplomatic passports, Denník N wrote.

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