First-instance trial for ex-minister Vu Huy Hoang slated for Jan. 7 hinh anh 1Ex-Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The People’s Court of Hanoi will hold a first-instance trial for ex-Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang on January 7, 2021.

Hoang is involved in the case of “violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness” and “violating regulations on land management,” which occurred at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and in Ho Chi Minh City.

This is a serious case drawing public attention. It is also related to the construction of a six-star hotel and trade and convention centre on a 6,080 sq.m land plot at No 2-4-6 Hai Ba Trung Street in HCM City.

The trial is scheduled to take place in one week.

Besides Hoang, nine other defendants will also go before the court, including former director of the MoIT’s Light Industry Department Phan Chi Dung, former Vice Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Tin, former Director of the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and Environment Dao Anh Kiet.

Hoang and Dung are charged with “violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness” under Clause 3, Article 219 of the 2015 Criminal Code. Meanwhile, the other eight defendants are accused of “violating regulations on land management” under point b, Clause 3, Article 229 of the 2015 Criminal Code.

According to the indictment of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Company (Sabeco) under the management of the MoIT was allocated the land plot at 2-4-6 Hai Ba Trung Street in HCM City’s District 1 with total area of 6,080sq.m for non-agricultural production and business, with land rent to be paid annually.

Hoang, along with former Deputy Minister of MoIT Ho Thi Kim Thoa and Phan Chi Dung, directed officials of the ministry and Sabeco during the process Sabeco used the land-use right of the land plot and its capital as contributions to a joint venture named Sabeco Pearl between the firm and a number of private companies to build a six-star hotel, trade and convention centre and office for lease at the land plot.

After completing legal procedures for the project, Sabeco requested the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to allow the addition of officetel and housing functions to the project. Immediately after that, the MoIT directed Sabeco to transfer all its stakes in the project to private companies which are partners in the joint venture. Therefore, the land use right of the State-owned land plot worth over 3.8 trillion VND was transferred to private firms illegally, causing more than 2.71 trillion VND of losses to the State.

Nguyen Huu Tin and other defendants who worked at the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Planning and Investment, and People’s Committee Office, committed violations on land management by giving Sabeco Pearl the right of the project’s investor and the authority to pay financial obligations and land rent for the land plot, which ran counter to the law.

Another accused person in the case – Ho Thi Kim Thoa - has fled, and the investigation police agency has put her on the wanted list./.