Vietnam jails journalist for 7 years for blackmail

AP News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2011 11:01 PM
Vietnam jails journalist for 7 years for blackmail

A journalist in Vietnam has been sentenced to seven years in prison for blackmailing a cement company.

The state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper says Phan Ha Binh, who works for the Tien Phong newspaper, was convicted of extortion at a one-day trial Thursday in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Friday's report, Binh told the judge he wrote three negative stories about the cement company in 2010 and that he told the company he wouldn't write additional stories if it paid him $10,000. He told the company that for another $3,000, he'd write positive stories.

The company reported the story to police, who caught Binh receiving $11,000 from the company at a restaurant last October.

Tien Phong often runs investigative stories and is one of the communist country's most popular newspapers.