Trinh Xuan Thanh (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Hanoi People’s Court will open proceedings in the trial of Trinh Xuan Thanh, former Chairman and General Director of PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC), and his accomplices accused of wrongdoings at PetroVietnam and its subsidiary PVC on January 8.

The court will judge 22 defendants who will be presented by a total of 42 lawyers, including three lawyers for Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam, and five lawyers for Thanh.

Twelve out of the defendants in the case have been charged with “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences” in line with Clause 3 of Article 165 of the 1999 Penal Code – the count that could send violators to jail for 10-20 years.

Meanwhile, eight others have been charged with “misappropriating property” in accordance with Clause 4 of Article 278 of the 1999 Penal Code, which prescribes sentences ranging from 20 years in prison to life imprisonment or death penalty.

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

According to the indictment of the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, this is an extremely serious case involving people holding key positions in important economic units and major national projects like Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant. 

The indictment says that Thang was mainly responsible for wrongdoings during construction of the Thai Binh 2 thermal power plant project.

He allegedly instructed PVC to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package. He was also accused of directing PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) to illegally sign EPC No. 33 with PVC.

Then, based on the illegitimate contracts, Thang went on to direct PetroVietnam to advance over 6.6 million USD and over 1.3 trillion VND (57.7 million USD) in breach of regulations, according to prosecutors.

Thang’s alleged actions caused losses of nearly 120 billion VND (5.3 million USD) to the State coffer.

Meanwhile, Thanh purportedly directed Thuan to sign EPC No. 33 during the construction of the Thai Binh 2 project so PVC could get advance deposits of over 6.6 million USD and over 1.3 trillion VND (57.7 million USD). He is also accused of using the money illegally, causing losses to the State budget.

Thanh and Thuan also reportedly directed Nguyen Anh Minh, PVC’s former Deputy General Director and Luong Van Hoa, former Director of PVC’s Vung Ang-Quang Trach Project Management Board, to draw up false documents to withdraw more than 13 billion VND (578,000 USD) from the project for personal use.

Such wrongdoings are brought to light more than one month after a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption’s Standing Board which took place in late November 2017, reflecting the high resolve of the Party, the State and the political system in the uncompromising combat against corruption and other bad deeds.

The trial is in line with instructions of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, head of the committee, who urged more drastic actions against corruption.

The corrupt acts have not only caused severe economic losses for the State but also eroded public trust and adversely affected the prestige of all-level Party committees and organisations, as well as the honour and virtue of Party members. Any wrongdoers who do harm to the Party, State and people, cannot evade punishments.-VNA