Sydney (Reuters) – Two Australians sentenced to death in Vietnam have been granted clemency thanks to improving diplomatic relations, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, after an official visit to the southeast Asian country.
“There was a substantial breakthrough with the granting of clemency, just yesterday … Australia very much welcomes this,” Albanese told ABC television on Monday.
“We make representations on behalf of Australian citizens. And we are very pleased that Vietnam has agreed to the request, and we thank them for it,” the prime minister said.
He said he would not reveal the names of the people who were granted clemency as they had requested privacy. Their families have been informed about the decision.
Albanese had travelled to Vietnam over the weekend, where he met his counterpart Pham Minh Chinh, and said the visit provided “an impetus for this outcome”.
Australia has also made representations on behalf of 73-year-old Chau Van Kham, a Vietnamese-Australian man sentenced in 2019 to 12 years in prison by a Vietnam court that had found him guilty of “terrorism” charges.
“That’s a different case. We were after an international prisoner transfer, and we’re hopeful in that case. But we’ll continue to work on those issues,” Albanese said.