Appeal trial begins for MobiFone-AVG case

April 24, 2020 | 08:00
The High-Level People’s Court in Hanoi on April 23 began a four-day appeal trial for the case involving the MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation’s purchase of 95 percent of shares in the Audio Visual Global JSC (AVG).
appeal trial begins for mobifone avg case
Nguyen Bac Son, former Minister of Information and Communications (Photo: VNA)

Nine defendants face the jury, comprising Nguyen Bac Son (former Minister of Information and Communications), Le Nam Tra (former Chairman of Mobifone's Member Council), Hoang Duy Quang (staff member of the AMAX investment consultancy and valuation company), Pham Thi Hoa Mai (former member of Mobifone's Member Council), and five former Deputy General Directors of MobiFone - Ho Tuan, Nguyen Manh Hung, Nguyen Bao Long, Nguyen Dang Nguyen and Phạm Thi Phuong Anh.

Earlier, Son asked for suspension of the trial due to health reasons, but his request was rejected by the court.

The trial had been initially scheduled for April 13-16. However, it was suspended due to the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the first-instance court that took place from December 16-28, 2019, 11 of the 14 defendants filed appeals, asking for clemency and reduced sentences.

Later, former General Director of MobiFone Cao Duy Hai and former Director of the AMAX investment consultancy and valuation company Vo Van Manh withdrew their appeal requests.

Three defendants did not appeal, namely Truong Minh Tuan, former Minister of Information and Communications; Pham Dinh Trong, head of the Ministry of Information and Communications’ Department of Enterprise Management; and Pham Nhat Vu, former Chairman of the AVG Board of Directors.

During the first-instance court, Truong Minh Tuan was sentenced to eight years in prison for “taking bribes” and another six years for “violating regulations on the management and use of public investment capital, causing serious consequences”. The total sentence for him is 14 years behind bars.

Trong received a five-year term for “violating regulations on the management and use of public investment capital, causing serious consequences”. Meanwhile, Vu has to spend three years in jail for “giving bribes”.

Son was given life imprisonment for “taking bribes” and 16 years in prison for “violating regulations on the management and use of public investment capital, causing serious consequences”. The total sentence is life imprisonment.

Ho Tuan and Hung received a prison sentence of two and a half years each for “violating regulations on the management and use of public investment capital, causing serious consequences”, according to the first-instance trial’s verdict.

It was found that in 2015, MobiFone, run by the Ministry of Information and Communications, bought 95 percent of AVG’s shares for 8.9 trillion VND (375 million USD), much higher than their actual value. The deal caused a loss of over 6.59 trillion VND (277 million USD) to the State.

VNA

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