Dinh La Thang answers questions raised by the judging council (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The High-Level People’s Procuracy in Hanoi on June 22 proposed upholding the first-instance sentences for Dinh La Thang and his accomplices in the case involving PetroVietnam’s contribution of 800 billion VND (35.2 million USD) to Oceanbank.

The appeal trial on the case began on June 19 and is expected to last until June 25.

In this case, all seven defendants appealed against the judgment issued by the Hanoi People’s Court at the first-instance trial in March this year.

They are Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam (National Oil and Gas Group); Nguyen Xuan Son, former Deputy General Director of PetroVietnam; Vu Khanh Truong, Nguyen Thanh Liem, Phan Dinh Duc and Nguyen Xuan Thang, who are former members of the PetroVietnam Member Council; and Ninh Van Quynh, former chief accountant and former head of the department of finance, accounting and auditing of PetroVietnam.

The court sentenced Dinh La Thang to 18 years in prison, Nguyen Xuan Son to 30 months in prison, Vu Khanh Truong to 5 years in jail, Nguyen Xuan Thang 22 months in jail, and Nguyen Thanh Liem and Phan Dinh Duc to non-custodial re-education periods of 20 months and 15 months, respectively, on the charge of “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”

Ninh Van Quynh received a total of 23 years in prison for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences,” and “abusing position and power to arrogate property.”

Along with imprisonment sentences, Dinh La Thang was ordered to pay 600 billion VND in compensation to PetroVietnam, while Quynh must compensate 100 billion VND and Truong 40 billion VND. The rest four defendants were requested to compensate 15 billion VND each.

The procuracy said that the first-instance judgments of the Hanoi’s court are correct and based on law, thus the court should reject the defendants’ appeals. The Procuracy noted that to date, there has been no new points that can help reduce the punishment.

According to the procuracy, Dinh La Thang signed an agreement on PetroVietnam’s capital contribution to Oceanbank with Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the bank’s Board of Directors, but did not ask for the Executive Council’s approval, which was against regulations. Thang also decided and directed the capital contribution when he did not know the bank’s operation situation and results.

In this case, Thang played a main role in directing other defendants to commit the law violation. The first-instance trial also considered Thang’s contributions to the society to apply extenuating circumstances as regulated by law.

In 2008, after failing to establish Hong Viet Commercial Joint Stock Bank, PetroVietnam decided to invest in OceanBank.

From 2008 to 2011, Dinh La Thang instructed and decided on PetroVietnam’s capital contribution to OceanBank to become a shareholder of the bank.

Under his instruction, Vu Khanh Truong, Nguyen Thanh Liem, Nguyen Xuan Thang, Phan Dinh Duc, Nguyen Xuan Son and Ninh Van Quynh carried out three contributions of the group’s capital totaling 800 billion VND to OceanBank.

Due to OceanBank’s poor capability and violations committed by Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of OceanBank’s Board of Directors, the bank suffered serious losses, leading to the loss of the whole 800 billion VND invested by PetroVietnam when the State Bank of Vietnam was forced to buy OceanBank at zero VND.-VNA