Defendant Trinh Xuan Thanh (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Six out of eight defendants in the asset embezzlement case at PetroVietnam Power Land JSC (PVP Land) have so far lodged their appeals against the first-instance sentences handed down by the Hanoi People’s Court on February 5.

Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC) Trinh Xuan Thanh asked the appeal court to reconsider the life sentence imposed upon him on the charge of “asset embezzlement”, insisting he is innocent.

Dinh Manh Thang, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Song Da Oil and Gas Investment and Commerce JSC, who was sentenced to nine years in prison, appealed for a reduction of his jail term.

Nguyen Thi Kim Thoa, former chief accountant of 1/5 Construction and Services JSC and Minh Ngan JSC, argued that she did not gain anything in the case and asked for a re-consideration of the entire case and the 6-year imprisonment imposed on her.

Thai Kieu Huong, former Deputy General Director of Vietsan Investment JSC, and Huynh Nguyen Quoc Duy, a self-employed trader, both complained that their 10-year sentences is too heavy on them and called for a review of their roles in the case and reduction of their punishment.

Dao Duy Phong, former Chairman of PVP Land’s Board of Directors, appealed against his sentence of 16 years, saying that it is unreasonable. He also asked for the return of 2 billion VND out of the money that his family had paid to correct the consequences of the case, alleging that it was the amount exceeding the total sum he received from the embezzlement.

Phong’s wife, Nguyen Thuy Hoa, who was involved in the case as a person with related interests and obligations, also lodged an appeal requesting the return of the 2 billion VND for the same reason as Phong said.

Two remaining defendants in the case, namely Nguyen Ngoc Sinh, former PVP Land General Director who got a 13-year sentence, and Le Hoa Binh, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of 1/5 Construction and Services JSC who was sentenced to eight years in prison, have not lodged their appeal.

All these defendants were charged with “asset embezzlement” in accordance with Article 278, Clause 4, Count a of the 1999 Penal Code (now is Article 353, Clause 4, Count a of the 2015 Penal Code).

At the first instance trial, the court concluded that Thanh, Thang, Huong, Phong, Sinh and Duy contacted and connived with Binh and Thoa to implement the signing of a transfer contract at the Nam Dan Plaza project with the price of 34 million VND (1,506 USD) per sq.m, lower than the deposit price of 52 million VND (2,303 USD) per sq.m, to appropriate a differential sum of more than 87 billion VND (3.86 million USD).

Of the money, Thanh arrogated 14 billion VND, while Thang pocketed 5 billion VND; Phong, 8 billion VND; and Sinh, 2 billion VND.

Dang Si Hung, chief of PVP Land’s economic and planning division, who died during the investigation, appropriated 20 billion VND. Due to his death, the Supreme People’s Procuracy decided to cancel the investigation against him.

The defendants received a total of 49 billion VND from the deal.

According to the verdict, among the defendants, Thanh played the decisive role in the case, followed by Phong and Sinh.-VNA