Former PVN chairman Dinh La Thang to stand trial on January 8

Dinh La Thang, a former chairman of the state-owned oil and gas group PVN, will be brought to trial on January 8 on charges of intentional violation of state regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences.

Former PVN chairman Dinh La Thang
Former PVN chairman Dinh La Thang

The trial is scheduled to take place for two weeks, according to a decision issued by the People’s Court of Hanoi on December 27.

In addition to Thang, 11 other defendants are also facing charges of economic mismanagement, including three former PVN senior leaders: director general Phung Dinh Thuc, deputy directors general Nguyen Quoc Khanh and Nguyen Xuan Son.

Eight other are accused of embezzlement while Trinh Xuan Thanh, former chairman of PVC, a subsidiary of PVN, and Vu Duc Thuan, former director general of PVC, face both charges of economic mismanagement and embezzlement.

According to the indictment of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the cases of economic wrongdoing and embezzlement at PVN and PVC are particularly serious, with most of the defendants holding key posts in major state-owned enterprises and national projects, including the Thai Binh 2 power plant project.

The prosecuting agency has determined that during the implementation of the Thai Binh 2 project, Dinh La Thang was mainly responsible for assigning PVC to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package and directing PVPower, a unit of PVN, to sign the EPC contract with the PVC illegally.

Thang then ordered his subordinates at PVN and the project management unit to advance US$6.6 million and VND1.3 trillion to PVC for Trinh Xuan Thanh and his accomplices to spend more than 1.1 trillion on other purposes rather than on the Thai Binh 2 power plant project, causing a loss of nearly VND120 billion to the state.

Thang was arrested on December 8 after being stripped of his status as a National Assembly deputy and banned from all Party-related activities.

Earlier in May, Thang was removed from the Politburo and lost his job as head of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee after the Central Inspection Commission found multiple serious violations during his chairmanship at the PVN.

Meanwhile Trinh Xuan Thanh turned himself in to the police in July after nearly one year on the run.

Thanh fled abroad after he was accused of economic mismanagement resulting in the losses of nearly VND3.3 trillion (US$145 million) during his leadership.

Dinh La Thang is the most senior leader to face trial in recent decades, indicating that Vietnam’s fight against corruption has no “prohibited zone” and wrongdoing by any Party member will not be tolerated.