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Dinh La Thang rejects indictment

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HCMC – Former Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang rejected an indictment against him, Thang told the court today, December 16, the third day of the first-instance court hearing against him and 19 accomplices over violations in the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway project that caused a loss of VND725 billion for the State.

Only one part of the indictment is right, while five other parts are wrong, Thang said.

Thang rejected the allegation that since he was the minister, he had to bear responsibility for all activities of the sector.

The rise in traffic accidents is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport before the National Assembly and the Government, but the occurrence of a specific traffic accident is not his responsibility, Thang said, explaining his point.

Clarifying the wrong parts of the indictment, Thang said that the Ministry of Transport had multiple projects so six of the then deputy ministers were assigned to be in charge of certain projects. As such, the deputy ministers issued direct directives and had to bear responsibility for the relevant activities.

As for the responsibility of assigning tasks, Thang said that the deputy ministers completed their duties related to their fields without a direct assignment.

Thang denied handing over the expressway project to the Cuu Long Corporation, shifting the blame onto the deputy minister.

On being accused of allowing Dinh Ngoc He’s Yen Khanh Company to win the bidding for the expressway toll collection, Thang refuted having close ties with He.

Thang also refused to accept responsibility for the loss of VND725 billion, as it was a cheating action to evade revenue, Thanh Nien Online reported.

Moreover, he said that the bidding for the project was conducted based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Finance rather than applying bidding regulations. As such, the indictment stating Thang and some officials of the Ministry of Transport violated the circular on bidding regulations is not correct, he added.

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