SINGAPORE: A Vietnamese tycoon detained in Singapore last week remains in the country, one of his lawyers said on Wednesday (Jan 3), easing his family's immediate fears that he could face the death penalty if he was sent back home.
Phan Van Anh Vu, 42, a property developer and former secret service officer who is reportedly wanted in Vietnam for revealing state secrets, was detained in Singapore last Thursday (Dec 28) as he tried to leave for Malaysia.
Remy Choo, one of at least three lawyers representing Vu, told Reuters that Singapore's immigration authority had agreed to let him see his client for the first time on Wednesday.
Vu's lawyers said on Tuesday (Jan 2) they had applied for his passage to Germany to avoid being sent to Vietnam, where serious security offences such as revealing state secrets, can carry the death penalty.
Singapore has no extradition treaty with Vietnam but its immigration authority has the power to repatriate people under certain circumstances, according to the city-state's Immigration Act.
A representative of Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said on Tuesday Vu was arrested "for committing offences under the Immigration Act".
Vu's case adds a new international dimension to a Vietnamese corruption crackdown that has brought the arrest of dozens of officials and business figures and is entangled with political intrigues in the single-party communist state.