Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam, speaks at the trial (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Trinh Xuan Thanh, former Chairman of PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC), and other defendants in the trial for several charges of wrongdoings defended themselves during the trial’s argument on January 13 and 14.

Dinh La Thang (former Chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam) admitted that he had not fulfilled his responsibility as the leader of the group, and that he wanted to receive leniency from the Party and State.

He said he had neglected the examination and supervision of the implementation of resolutions and decisions issued by the Member Council and not fulfilled his responsibility, leading to slow rectification of violating agencies and persons. He asked the judging council to make sound, legally-based and fair consideration of the former PetroVietnam staff, who he said had not been motivated by personal purposes, but the wish for the rapid development of the group as in line with its development strategy.

Thang said he respected the procuracy’s indictment but still wanted the judging council to take into account the issues that hadn’t been considered during the investigation process or mentioned in the indictment.

For his part, Trinh Xuan Thanh wanted the procuracy to clarify how he had directed his inferiors to commit irregularities. He said after he knew about the wrong money transfer, he had issued a written direction prohibiting the use of the money for wrong purposes.

Regarding the charge of asset embezzlement, Thanh said defendants’ statements were contradictory and unclear and lack evidence. He asked the judging council to re-consider the evidence and statements leading to charging him with directing the embezzlement of PVC’s money.

He continued to affirm that he had not embezzled assets and not directed the money withdrawal.

[Infographics: Trial of Trinh Xuan Thanh and accomplices]

At the trial, some defendants also defenced others with a hope that the judging council will reduce penalties against them.

Representatives of the civil plaintiffs, PetroVietnam and PVC, also called on the judging council to take into account both contributions and wrongdoings of the defendants when considering their penal and civil responsibilities so as to give them chances to correct mistakes.

Among the 22 defendants in the case, 12 were charged with “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences”. Eight others were accused of “misappropriating property”.

Trinh Xuan Thanh and Vu Duc Thuan (former PVC General Director) were charged with both “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences” and “misappropriating property.”

They were charged with irregularities during the construction of key projects, including Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant.-VNA