Former Politburo member and chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam (PVN) Đinh La Thăng has admitted failing to fulfill his responsibility as the leader of the group. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
HÀ NỘI — Former Politburo member and chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam (PVN) Đinh La Thăng has admitted failing to fulfill his responsibility as the leader of the group. Meanwhile, Trịnh Xuân Thanh, former Chairman of PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC) and others accused defended themselves from several charges during the last two days of arguments in the high-profile trial.
In his self-defence session, Thăng said he had neglected to supervise the implementation of resolutions and decisions issued by the Member Council, leading to slow responses to violating agencies and persons.
He wanted to receive leniency from the Party and State and asked the judging council to make sound, legally based and fair consideration of the former PetroVietnam staff. He said the staff had not been motivated by personal interests, but by desires to see the rapid development of the group.
The accused said he respected the procuracy’s indictment but still wanted the judging council to take into account the issues that hadn’t been considered during the investigation process or mentioned in the indictment.
For his part, Trịnh Xuân Thanh affirmed he did not want to blame his subordinates and wanted the procuracy to clarify how he had directed his inferiors to commit irregularities. He said after he knew about the improper money transfer, he had issued a written direction prohibiting the use of the money for improper purposes.
Regarding the charge of asset embezzlement, Thanh said defendants’ statements were contradictory, unclear and unsupported by evidence. He asked the judging council to re-consider the evidence and statements leading to charging him with directing the embezzlement of PVC’s money.
Thanh continued to affirm that he had not embezzled assets and not directed the money withdrawal.
At the trial, some defendants also defended others with the hope that the judging council will reduce the penalties they face.
Representatives of the civil plaintiffs, PetroVietnam and PVC, also called on the judging council to take into account both the contributions and wrongdoings of the defendants when considering their penal and civil responsibilities so as to give them opportunities to correct mistakes.
Among the 22 defendants in the case, 12 were charged with “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences”. Eight others were accused of “misappropriating property”.
Trịnh Xuân Thanh and Vũ Đức Thuận (former PVC General Director) were charged with both “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences” and “misappropriating property”.
On Wednesday, prosecutor of the Hà Nội People’s Procuracy Đào Thịnh Cường read the arraignment and the recommended penalty for each of the defendants. The harshest suggested penalty was life imprisonment and the lightest was suspended imprisonment on probation.
Under the Penal Code, Thăng would receive 13-14 years in jail on a charge of “deliberate violations of State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences”.
Meanwhile, Thanh would receive 13-14 years in jail on a charge of violating economic management regulations. He would also get life imprisonment for embezzlement, which would bring his ultimate penalty to a life sentence. — VNS