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Dinh La Thang stands trial

Hoang Khang
Tuesday,  Jan 9,2018,20:28 (GMT+7)
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Dinh La Thang stands trial

Hoang Khang

Dinh La Thang at a court in Hanoi City on January 8 - PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Dinh La Thang, former chairman of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN), and dozens of other former executives of PVN and its affiliate PetroVietnam Construction Joint-stock Company (PVC) including Trinh Xuan Thanh, were brought to court on January 8. The hearing at Hanoi People’s Court is expected to last two weeks until January 21.

Thang, 58, is charged with deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences, while 52-year-old Trinh Xuan Thanh, former chairman of PVC, is facing alleged charges of a similar crime plus misappropriation of State property, according to local media reports. If convicted in this first-instance hearing, Thang could face a prison term of 10 to 20 years, while Thanh may face death penalty for misappropriation of State property, Vnexpress reports.

Both Thang and Thanh were handcuffed while being escorted to the court on January 8 morning. The defendants in this case include 14 charged with “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences,” and 10 others with “misappropriation of State property.”

Apart from Thang and Thanh, the other key defendants charged with “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences” include former PVN CEO Phung Dinh Thuc, former deputy general director of PVN Truong Quoc Dung, former CEO of PVC Vu Duc Thuan, and former vice chairman of PVC Nguyen Ngoc Quy.

Meanwhile, those accused of “misappropriation of State property” – apart from Trinh Xuan Thanh – include Vu Duc Thuan as former CEO of PVC, Nguyen Anh Minh, and former deputy general director of PVC.

Their violations, as indicted by the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam on January 8, caused losses of VND119 billion for the State.

According to the indictment delivered by the prosecutor, Dinh La Thang and many other defendants violated regulations on bidding, contractor selection, management of capital construction, and contractual management in construction, mostly related to a project to develop Thai Binh 2 thermo-power plant.

In late 2007, the Ministry of Industry and Trade approved a master plan for Thai Binh Power Center, and PVN was named the project owner. In early 2008, PVN entrusted its subsidiary PVPower to implement the project. Thang, the then chairman of PVN, sought the Prime Minister’s approval for appointing a contractor for the project, instead of organizing a competitive tender.

Then, in June 2010, Thang signed a PVN resolution naming PVC as the Engineering-Procurement-Construction contractor for Thai Binh 2 thermo-power project, Vnexpress reports.

According to the indictment, the selection of the EPC contractor as well as the signing of the EPC contract violated regulations provided in Government decrees guiding the implementation of the Bidding Law and the Construction Law, and other relevant regulations.

Then, PVN disbursed over US$8 million and over VND1,300 billion to the management board of Thai Binh 2 thermo-power project, and the board transferred US$6.6 million and VND1,300 billion to PVC as the EPC contractor, which also went against State regulations.

With the cash transferred, Trinh Xuan Thanh and his accomplices at PVC instructed their subordinates to spend VND1,115 billion on other projects and to repay bank loans. As of late last year, police had managed to recover VND1,087 billion, and the balance of over VND119 billion was deemed as irrecoverable losses.

In addition, Thanh and others at PVC also withdrew VND13 billion from the management board of Thai Binh 2 thermo-power project for personal use, according to the indictment. Trinh Xuan Thanh allegedly took VND4 billion from this sum.

The indictment against Dinh La Thang, who is defended by three lawyers at the court, captured great public attention as the former PVN chairman used to hold senior positions in the political system.

While sitting on the Politburo, he served as secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, but Thang was dismissed from the Politburo as well as relieved of the post of secretary of the HCMC Party Committee for mismanagement. Before his arrest, Thang was deputy head of the Central Party Committee’s Economic Commission, and a deputy of the National Assembly. He also served as Transport Minister for several years before.

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Giấy phép Báo điện tử số: 321/GP-BTTT, cấp ngày 26/10/2007
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