Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu at the appeal trial on May 28 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The High-level People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City on May 28 opened a trial to review the case in which Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, an ex-official of Vietinbank, and her accomplice were charged with swindling to appropriate 1.085 trillion VND (43.8 million USD) of five companies.

According to the first instance trial’s verdict announced on February 9, from May to September 2011, Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, who was then a controller and acting head of the Dien Bien Phu transaction office of the HCM City branch of Vietinbank, persuaded five companies, namely Orient Securities Corporation, Hung Yen Investment JSC, SaigonBank Berjaya Securities Company, Global Insurance Corporation, and An Loc Company, to deposit money in the Nha Be and HCM City branches of Vietinbank. She promised them interest rates higher than the ceiling rate regulated by the State.

Nhu took advantage of accounts at Vietinbank, used many tricks and faked seals and documents to appropriate the money of these companies.

The verdict said the companies made the illegal agreements outside Vietinbank offices and let Nhu use their accounts, which created conditions for her to appropriate their assets. As these civil plaintiffs violated law, they would not be protected by law and the person who appropriated their money must compensate for their losses.

Nhu was given life imprisonment while her accessory, Vo Anh Tuan (former deputy director of the Nha Be branch), was sentenced to seven years in prison, also for the guilt of swindling to appropriate assets.

Nhu was ordered to compensate four companies, and Tuan would have to compensate one company. The total compensation they must pay is over 1.085 trillion VND.

After the verdict announcement, Nhu did not lodged any appeals, but Tuan appealed for leniency and four of the five companies also appealed against the ruling.

At the appeal trial, the High-level People’s Procuracy in HCM City asked the jury to uphold the seven-year imprisonment for Tuan, saying that his appeal did not provide any new details.

It also proposed the four companies’ appeal be rejected and Nhu’s sentence and compensation responsibility be kept.

Meanwhile, these plaintiffs said they had legally deposited money in Vietinbank and their money had been recorded in the bank’s system. They added that it was Vietinbank’s fault in managing its clients’ money, which created conditions for Nhu to appropriate their money, so it is the bank’s responsibility, not Nhu’s, for paying the compensation.

The appeal court is set to conclude on May 29.-VNA