Defendant Trinh Xuan Thanh, former Chairman of the PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Hanoi People’s Court announced on April 27 that an appeal trial will open on May 7 for Trinh Xuan Thanh, former Chairman of the PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC); Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Member Council of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and their accomplices in the PVC case.

The trial is expected to last between 6 and 8 days, said the Hanoi People’s Court.

By April 27, 15 out of 22 defendants have lodged their appeals. Of whom, Trinh Xuan Thanh, Dinh La Thang, and PetroVietnam’s former General Director Phung Dinh Thuc insisted on their innocence. Other defendants appealed for more lenient sentences and compensation against the first-instance verdicts handed down by the Hanoi People’s Court on January 22.

The upcoming appeal court will see the presence of the 15 defendants and three others, who make no appeal but are recalled as deponents. Of the defendants, 12 have been still held in custody. At the moment, the number of lawyers defending the appellants has amounted to 29.

At the first-instance trial on January 22, Trinh Xuan Thanh got a life sentence on the charge of “asset embezzlement” and 14 years in jail for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences”. The combined penalty for both counts was life imprisonment.

Also charged with “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences”, Dinh La Thang was given 13 years, while Phung Dinh Thuc was sentenced to 9 years in jail.-VNA