HCM City land-use violation case involving city ex-leader suspended again due to COVID-19 hinh anh 1Former Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Tai (centre) at a hearing in March (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on June 17 announced that the second hearing for the case of law violation involving the land lot at 57 Cao Thang street being exchanged for the land lot at 185 Hai Ba Trung street in the city will take place from July 13-19.

The hearing, which was scheduled for May 26 to June 2, was delayed to June 22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, social distancing measures are being applied in HCM City until the end of June, forcing the trial to be suspended again.

In this case, Duong Thi Bach Diep, Director of the Diep Bach Duong Real Estate Co., is among the key defendants in the trial, and is charged with “fraud, appropriation of assets”.

Nine other defendants in the case are charged with “lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences,” including former Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Tai; former Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Finance Tran Nam Trang; former Director of the HCM City Light Music Centre Vy Nhat Tao; former Director of the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Thanh Rum; former Deputy Director of the department Le Ton Thanh; former deputy heads of the municipal People’s Committee Office Huynh Kim Phat and Le Van Thanh; former Director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment Dao Anh Kiet; and former Deputy Director of the department Nguyen Thanh Nhan.

According to the indictment, the 185 Hai Ba Trung land lot, owned by the State, was the headquarters of the Light Music Centre under the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. In 2007, the centre’s then director Vy Nhat Tao contacted Diep to cooperate in upgrading the headquarters.

Diep then proposed exchanging her land lot at 57 Cao Thang street for the 185 Hai Ba Trung land lot, as she owned the land lot at 179 Hai Ba Trung street and wanted to build a five-star hotel complex there.

The property swap was approved by Nguyen Thanh Tai. During the process, Diep used the land use right certificate for 57 Cao Thang as collateral to borrow money from Agribank - HCM City branch.

After being granted a land right use certificate for the property at 185 Hai Ba Trung, however, Diep did not use it to replace the collateral at Agribank to hand over the property at 57 Cao Thang to the Light Music Centre as committed. Instead, Diep used the 185 Hai Ba Trung land lot as collateral for a loan at Southern Bank (now Sacombank) and so far was not able to repay the debt.

The indictment stated that Tai permitted the property swap while he was not responsible for handling and reorganising State assets.

On March 5, 2010, Tai signed a document sent to relevant units approving the exchange of the two land lots, without any request to check and clarify the legal status of the 57 Cao Thang land lot, causing losses of State assets.

The other defendants showed a lack of responsibility in carrying out their duty, thus facilitating Diep’s fraud and appropriation of assets.

The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on March 26 decided to return dossiers of the case for further investigations as new evidence and details were found./.