The People’s Court of Tien Lang district, Hai Phong city on October 30 rejected a claim lodged by local farmer Doan Van Vuon asking for compensation for damage allegedly caused by land reclamation decisions issued by the Tien Lang district People’s Committee.

The plaintiff, who is serving his five-year sentence for murder and resisting on-duty officials, demanded that the People’s Committee pay him over 30 billion VND (1.4 million USD) as compensation for material losses and spiritual damage.

Vuon and other farmers involved in the coercive land reclamation in Vinh Quang commune, Tien Lang district, the northern port city of Hai Phong , were tried by the Hai Phong court on April 5 this year on charges of “murder and resisting on-duty officials”.

According to the Hai Phong People’s Procuracy, the Tien Lang district People’s Committee on October 4, 1993 allocated 21 hectares of coastal wetlands to Vuon for aquaculture in 14 years.

Vuon then encroached farther to the sea with an additional land area of 19.3 hectares, which earned him the district’s administrative fine along with the right to continue the cultivation on the encroached land until October 4, 2007.

On April 7, 2009, the district People’s Committee issued Decision 461/QD-UBND to take back the aforementioned plot, citing its usage expiry.

Disagreeing with this decision, Vuon brought the case to court which then upheld the above Decision 461.

On November 24, 2011 , the Committee issued Decision No. 3307/QD-UBND to implement Decision 461, but Vuon refused to comply.

Vuon and his relatives erected defence fences, planted self-made mines and used home-made guns to shoot at those enforcing the decision, injuring seven officials on duty.

On April 5, 2013, the Hai Phong City People’s Court handed down a jail term of five years to Vuon on the charge of “murder and resisting on-duty officials”. The Appeal Court of the Supreme People’s Court on July 30 upheld the sentence.

In connection with the case, five local officials were given suspended prison terms at the first-instance trial on April 8-10 and a retrial on August 1 on the charge of “destroying property, irresponsibility and causing serious consequences”. The former officials are also banned from holding any position in Government agencies or social organisations for one year after their main sentences. They were ordered to jointly compensate all losses and damage for the victims.-VNA