This morning, the Hanoi People’s Court opened the first instance hearing of Dinh La Thang, Trinh Xuan Thanh, and 20 other related defendants charged with “intentionally violating state regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences” and “asset embezzlement.”
|Dinh La Thang will be charged with intentionally violating state regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences, photo source: Dantri
Attending the court, there were two civil plaintiffs—Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC).
Dinh La Thang and 11 defendants will be charged with “intentionally violating state regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences” (Article 165 of the Penal Code), while eight others may face charges of “asset embezzlement” (Article 278 of the Penal Code).
Trinh Xuan Thanh—PVC’s former chairman and former member of the PVC Board of Directors—and Vu Duc Thuan are to be tried on both charges.
According to the proposal of the court, Dinh La Thang (in the role of chairman of PetroVietnam’s Board of Directors) played a key role and directed the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) bidding package to develop the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project without the company having the necessary capacity and experiences, and completing procedures related to the selection of the contractor.
Based on EPC contract No.33, Thang asked PetroVietnam to pay PVC more than $6.6 million and VND1.3 trillion ($59 million) in advance to implement the contract. Then, defendant Trinh Xuan Thanh and others used the VND1.1 trillion ($48.4 million) of the advance payment for other purposes without pouring it into Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant.
Up to November 22, 2017, as much as VND1.1 trillion ($48.5 million) has been retrieved, but VND120 billion ($5.3 million) has been lost.
Additionally, Trinh Xuan Thanh asked his staff to overstate the construction expenditures of the four stages of the Vung Ang-Quang Trach thermal power project by VND13 billion ($572,456). Thanh took VND4 billion ($176,140) and took responsibility with Vu Duc Thuan, Nguyen Anh Minh, Bui Manh Hien in the use of VND1.5 billion ($66,000).
The trial will begin in two weeks, until January 22, 2018.
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On January 8, 2018, the Hanoi People’s Court will open the first instance hearing of the trial of Dinh La Thang and 21 other defendants in relation to serious economic crimes at PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), according to newswire Vnexpress.
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In the wake of intensified efforts to further Vietnam’s crackdown on corruption, many former executives of the state-run Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group may face criminal charges for their violations, with former chairman Dinh La Thang taking the heaviest responsibility.
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Dinh La Thang - a member of the Party Central Committee and deputy chairman of the committee's Economic Commission, was arrested on December 8, 2017 by the Investigation Police Department in relation to two serious economic crimes during his chairmanship of the Member Council of Vietnam's oil and gas group PetroVietnam.