Supreme Court to begin appeal hearing of PetroVietnam case

April 29, 2018 | 12:59
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In the appeal letter submitted to the court, Trinh Xuan Thanh claimed he did not commit the crimes he was convicted of in the first instance and Dinh La Thang claimed the verdict was neither fair nor objective.
supreme court to begin appeal hearing of petrovietnam case
Dinh La Thang, Trinh Xuan Thanh, and 13 other defendants appealed against the first-instance verdict

The Hanoi Supreme People’s Court scheduled to hold the appeal trial over the notorious Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) corruption case on May 7.

The court is going to spend ten days to hear the appeals of Trinh Xuan Thanh, former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction JSC (PVC), and Dinh La Thang, former chairman of PetroVietnam, as well as 13 others convicted for the million-dollar losses at the state oil giant at a trial in January.

Trinh Xuan Thanh, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for embezzlement and violations in economic management, said he did not commit the crimes.

Dinh La Thang, who received a 13-year sentence for violations in economic management, said his punishment was "too harsh" and has appealed for a reduced sentence. In the appeal letter, he said that the verdict was neither fair nor objective in assessing his role in the case.

Most of the other defendants, who received up to 22 years in prison, are also seeking commutation. Notably, the son of Trinh Xuan Thanh requested the court to return the villa that it confiscated at the first instance hearing.

Several days ago, the Central Inspection Commission asked the Politburo and the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party to consider and sentence the most severe disciplinary measure to Dinh La Thang, former member of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party and deputy head of the Central Economic Commission.

Thang (58) served as the board chairman of PetroVietnam between 2006 and 2011, before his career took off as Minister of Transport and then Party Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the indictment, he directly appointed Thanh as general director of PVC in December 2007, before making various promotion, funding, and recruitment decisions to boost Thanh’s power and facilitate the company’s operations.

He was found responsible for Thanh’s actions that led to losses worth more than VND119 billion ($5.24 million) at one thermal power plant and embezzlement of VND4 billion ($176,000) at another.

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