Germany charges Vietnamese linked to 2017 kidnapping case
BERLIN (AP) — A man suspected in the Berlin kidnapping of a former Vietnamese oil executive has been charged in Germany with aiding and abetting the abduction and with intelligence agent activity, the federal prosecutor said Thursday.
The Vietnamese suspect, who was only identified as Anh T.L., was arrested in Prague in April and has been detained in Germany since June, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The prosecutor’s office said Trinh Xuan Thanh and a companion were forcibly dragged into a van on a Berlin street in July 2017 and that Thanh was taken against his will to Vietnam, where he was sentenced to life in prison for corruption.
German authorities allege the kidnapping was carried out by employees of the Vietnamese secret service and officials of the Vietnamese Embassy in Berlin, as well as several Vietnamese nationals living in Europe, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Anh T. L.. participated in spying on the abduction targets in advance, and drove vehicles used in the operation, the statement added.
The 2017 kidnapping strained relations between the German and Vietnamese governments. Germany accused Vietnam of breaking international law and kicked out the country’s intelligence attaché.
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