The Hai Phong City People’s Court on April 2 opened a trial for those involved in coercive land reclamation in Vinh Quang commune, Tien Lang district in 2012, on charges of “murder and resisting on-duty officials”.

Among six defendants, Doan Van Vuon, Doan Van Quy, Doan Van Sinh and Doan Van Ve, were accused of murder under Point D, Clause 1, Article 93 of the Penal Code.

Defendants Nguyen Thi Thuong and Pham Thi Bau were indicted for resisting on-duty officials as prescribed in point D, Clause 2, Article 257 of the Penal Code.

Eleven lawyers defend the accused.

The verdict presented by the Hai Phong People’s Procuracy recounted that on October 4, 1993 the Tien Lang district People’s Committee 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 cultivating the encroached land until October 4, 2007.

On April 7, 2009, the Tien Lang 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 the court which then upheld the above Decision 461.

On November 24, 2011, the Tien Lang district People’s Committee issued Decision No. 3307/QD-UBND to implement Decision 461. Together with relevant agencies, Tien Lang’s authorities informed and explained their decision to Vuon and persuaded him to follow but their efforts failed.

Vuon, Quy, Sinh, Ve and Doan Van Thoai and Pham Thai erected defence fences, planted self-made mines and fired home-made short guns at those executing the decision, injuring seven officials on duty.

Thuong and Bau were found to get directly involved in erecting defence fences and other activities to make it easier for the above accused to launch attacks against the law enforcement officials.

Meanwhile Thoai and Thai, who fled after committing crime, have been put on the wanted list and will face charge when they are arrested.

The trial, which saw the presence of local and foreign correspondents on the first day, is expected to run until April 5.-VNA