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Farmer to get new day in court in land seizure case

Update: February, 17/2012 - 10:18

HA NOI — The Supreme People's Court on Wednesday ordered a new trial yesterday in farmer Doan Van Vuon's suit against the Tien Lang District People's Committee in the northern city of Hai Phong, ruling that the People's Court there wrongfully dismissed his action in April 2010.

The Supreme People's Court found that the trial court failed to comply with all required legal procedures or to consult with relevant land management agencies before issuing its judgement. The court also failed to consider the issue of compensation due to Vuon when his land was seized, even if the seizure were deemed lawful.

The People's Court of Hai Phong also failed to facilitate conditions for Vuon and the Tien Lang District People's Committee to negotiate in accordance with the law.

Significantly, the Supreme People's Court found, Vuon was neither present nor represented during the trial court's hearing, and the court unilaterally dismissed Vuon's case in violation of civil procedures and Vuon's lawful rights.

A representative of the Supreme People's Procuracy argued in support of Vuon's appeal and also urged the Hai Phong People's Court to handle the case in accordance with the law.

Vuon received a grant of land use rights to 20ha in Vinh Quang Commune in 1991 for fish breeding. He later reclaimed another 19.3ha of submerged land on his own initiative, and the Tien Lang District People's Commitee fined him for the encroachment. After paying the fine, he was given permission by the district to continue using the land for another 14 years, commencing on October 4, 1993. However, when the term expired, the district People's Committee attempted to retrieve the entire 40.3ha.

On January 5 of this year, when officials from the district People's Committee attempted to seize the 19.3ha plot, Vuon and members of his family resisted, wounding six police officers and soldiers. — VNS

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