Former General Director of the PVEP Do Van Khanh, one of the defendants, at the trial on May 6 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The People’s Court of Hanoi on May 6 decided to suspend a trial for the case of “abusing position and power to appropriate assets” that occurred at the PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP).

The court postponed the trial to summon more witnesses for the case, namely Hoang Ngoc Dang, former Chairman of PVEP’s Council Members, and Dinh Van Duc, chief accountant of the PVEP. It will announce the date to reopen the trial later.

The case forms part of the second phase of a corruption case involving Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank), regarding the reception of extra interest payments of OceanBank.

The three defendants in the case are Nguyen Tuan Hung, former head of PVEP’s Financial Department; Vu Thi Ngoc Lan, former Deputy General Director of PVEP; and Do Van Khanh, former General Director of PVEP. They are charged with “abusing position and power to appropriate assets” under Article 355 of the 2015 Penal Code.

According to the indictment, PVEP engaged in transactions on deposits of fixed and non-fixed terms at OceanBank during 2009-2014 under the direction of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) on prioritising financial services of OceanBank, to which PetroVietnam contributed 20 percent of the charter capital.

During questioning, Hung admitted to giving money to Khanh and Dang twice under the witness of Lan and Duc. According to prosecutors, he did not reveal the information in previous investigations.

In addition, the court requested the presence of then Deputy General Director of OceanBank Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong. As more time is needed to verify Phuong’s health condition, the trial is postponed with its new date yet to be announced. –VNA