Trial begins of former PVN chairman Dinh La Thang

Monday, 2018-01-08 11:03:39
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Former Politburo member and PVN chairman Dinh La Thang
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NDO - Dinh La Thang, a former Politburo member and chairman of the state-owned oil giant PVN, also known as PetroVietnam, has gone to trial on charges of economic mismanagement in one of the most high-profile cases in recent years.

The trial, which began on January 8 in Hanoi and is expected to last for two weeks, involves 22 defendants, most of which were senior leaders at the PVN and its subsidiary PVC, the PetroVietnam Construction Corporation.

Twelve are indicted for deliberate violation of state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences and eight are accused of embezzlement.

Meanwhile another two, Trinh Xuan Thanh, former PVC chairman, and Vu Duc Thuan, former PVC director general, face both charges of economic mismanagement and embezzlement.

According to court documents, while chairman of PVN, Dinh La Thang was mainly responsible for a loss of VND800 billion (US$35.2 million) when deciding to invest in the struggling OceanBank without proper authorisation although he was well-informed of the lender’s situation.

Thang was also found to have breached the law when assigning the PVC to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) package at the Thai Binh 2 power plant and directing PVPower, another 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 project, causing a loss of nearly VND120 billion to the state.

Thang was arrested on December 8 after having his parliamentary membership and all Party activities suspended while Thanh turned himself in to the police in July after nearly one year on the run.

The trial of Dinh La Thang, Trinh Xuan Thanh and other senior leaders such as former PVN director general Phung Dinh Thuc shows the Party’s strong determination to tackle corruption without a “prohibited zone”.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong once analogised the corruption fight to a blazing furnace that could burn even green firewood, signifying that anyone who commits wrongdoing will face punishment regardless of their posts.