Investigative police in northern Hai Phong port city have decided to take legal proceeding against the former chairman of Tien Lang district’s People’s Committee, Le Van Hien, for his alleged misconduct in an unlawful land seizure in his locality in 2012.

A police spokesman, Pham Duy Dien, said investigations will centre on an alleged lack of responsibility that caused serious consequences, as set down in Article 285 of the Penal Code.

Currently, Hien has been forbidden to leave his residence. He was removed from his post in February, one month after the local authorities carried out the forcible revocation of 19.3ha of aquaculture land operated by Doan Van Vuon, 49.

The land was alleged at the time to have passed the expiry date for its lease from the Government.
At the time the case happened, Hien acted as deputy secretary of the district’s Party Committee and chairman of the district’s People’s Committee.

On January 5, 2012, farmer Vuon opposed the land revocation and injured five people, including policemen, by using self-made mines and shotguns to protect his property.

The case quickly grew into a public outcry by farmers against land seizures. It also brought Hien’s subordinates, including former deputy chairman of the district’s People’s Committee, Nguyen Van Khanh, and former head of the district’s natural resources and environment division, Pham Xuan Hoa, to be prosecuted for alleged “property destruction”.

On December 28, the city’s police proposed to bring farmer Vuon and five others of his family members to court for murderous conduct and confronting people on duty.

The trial is expected to be held before traditional Tet (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 10.-VNA