Twenty defendants in a case of violation of land management regulations that involved several former senior officials of the central city of Da Nang have filed their appeal asking for reduced punishment, the Hanoi People’s Court said on February 4.
|Defendants listen to the court's verdict. (Photo: VNA)
Among them, former Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Van Huu Chien asked the appeal court to consider the situation in Da Nang 15 years ago when the violations took place, claiming he was only implementing a policy adopted by the standing board of the municipal Party Committee and the municipal People’s Council.
Chien was sentenced to 12 years in prison for violating regulations on managing and using State assets, causing losses and wastefulness, and violating land management regulations at the first-instance trial that took place in Hanoi from January 2-13, 2020.
Another former Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Tran Van Minh also insisted he followed the city’s policies. Minh was given 12 years in prison on the same charges as those for Chien.
Phan Van Anh Vu, former Chairman of the 79 Construction JSC and Bac Nam 79 JSC, who received 30 years in prison, also appealed the sentence.
According to the indictment at the first-instance trial, Minh and Chien held key leading positions of Da Nang city and were in charge of State property management and use and land management.
The two defendants violated laws and ordered their staff to complete procedures of selling State-owned buildings and illegally transferring land lots to Vu. These actions were repeated for many times in a long period, the indictment said.
With the help of the two former chairmen and other leading officials who signed and followed the orders, Vu was able to acquire various State-owned buildings and land lots located in prime locations at a much lower price or without auction from 2006 to 2014.
Their actions caused losses of more than 22 trillion VND (947.5 million USD) to the State.
Between 2002 and 2017, Vu used his own name and those of his relatives to establish, contribute capital to and directly manage five real estate companies, aiming to purchase many property projects as well as public houses and land lots in Da Nang without auctions, at prices lower than those set by the municipal People’s Committee, personally pocketing a specially huge amount of money.
The Hanoi People’s Court handed jail sentences to 21 defendants in the case, who were found guilty of “violating regulations on managing and using State assets, causing losses and wastefulness” and “violating land management regulations”.
The only defendant who does not appeal is Nguyen Van Can, former Chief of the Office of the Da Nang municipal People’s Committee.