Hanoi People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Duc Chung (centre, white shirt) meet Dong Tam commune residents to resettle land disputes last April (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - My Duc district’s Police in Hanoi have announced they were prosecuting 14 former officials of the district and of Dong Tam commune.

The officials were allegedly involved in land violations in the commune.

The accused will appear in court this month, facing charges of "abusing power while on duty" and "irresponsibility causing serious consequence.”

The accused include a former commune People’s Committee chairman, People’s Council chairman, commune Party Committee secretary and head of the commune’s Police, as well as head of the district’s Environment Division and officials of the district’s Land Registration Office.

According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2013, the commune officials illegally allocated and granted land to some local households.

The district officials were allegedly irresponsible while verifying the origin of the land and granted land-use certificates unlawfully.

The violations of the officials were detected and investigated following complaints from residents.

Dong Tam commune made headlines in local media for a land scandal in late March and mid-April when 38 civil servants and some police personnel were held hostage by the commune’s residents.

The residents were protesting what they considered was unjustified revoking of 50 acres of land where they’d built homes and lived for many years.

As tensions escalated in March, police opened an investigation against the residents for "disturbing social order."

Matters came to a head on April 15, when police arrested four people. Local villagers retaliated by surrounding and seizing 38 officials, including police officers.-VNA