Dinh La Thang and other defendants at the trial. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A prison term from 18 to 19 years has been proposed for Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), who was accused of wrongdoings in the group’s investment of 800 billion VND (over 35 million USD) into the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank).

On March 22, the Hanoi People’s Procuracy proposed penalties for the defendants involved in the case.

Thang and six other defendants faced the charge of “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences”.

Ninh Van Quynh (former chief accountant and former head of the department of finance, accounting and auditing of PetroVietnam) and Vu Khanh Truong (former member of the Member Council of PetroVietnam) were proposed to spend 7 – 8 years in prison each.

The procuracy suggested a prison term from 30 to 36 months for Nguyen Xuan Son (former Deputy General Director of PetroVietnam) and 24 to 30 months for Nguyen Xuan Thang (former member of the Member Council of PetroVietnam).

From 24 to 30 months of non-custodial re-education was proposed for Nguyen Thanh Liem and Phan Dinh Duc, former members of the Member Council of PetroVietnam.

Another prison sentence from 17 to 18 years was proposed for Ninh Van Quynh, who was also charged with abusing position and power to appropriate assets since he reportedly appropriated 20 billion VND while performing his duties.

The procuracy also asked the jury panel to ban the defendants from taking certain positions or jobs in five years since they finish the main penalties.

According to the procuracy, from September 2008, Dinh La Thang ordered and decided PetroVietnam’s investment in OceanBank so that PetroVietnam became the strategic shareholder of this bank. Under his order, the other defendants actively carried out three contributions of the group’s capital totaling 800 billion VND to OceanBank.

Due to OceanBank’s poor capability and violations committed by Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of OceanBank’s Board of Directors, the bank suffered serious losses, leading to the loss of the whole 800 billion VND invested by PetroVietnam.

The procuracy said Dinh La Thang knew OceanBank’s poor capability and that before investing capital to become the strategic shareholder of OceanBank, PetroVietnam must ask for permission of the then Prime Minister. However, he had intentionally directed his inferiors to commit violations before reporting to the Prime Minister and relevant agencies to regularize their violations.

The procuracy said the defendants’ intentional infringement of State regulations on economic management was particularly dangerous for society. It not only caused a loss of a big sum of money (800 billion VND) of the State but also violated the management of State assets and the prestige of the State cadre contingent, and affected people’s trust in State-owned enterprises.-VNA