Appeal hearing of COVID-19 test kit scandal opens today

May 15, 2024 - 09:36
The hearing is scheduled to take place in three days.
Defendants at the first-instance trial on January 12. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The High People's Court in Hà Nội will hear the appeals of former Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long and 10 other defendants in the COVID-19 test kit fraud that occurred at Việt Á Technologies JSC, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science and Technology and related agencies and organisations, on May 15.

After the first-instance trial, Phan Quôcs Việt, general director of the Việt Á, and Nguyễn Thanh Long, former Minister of Health, appealed for reducing their penalties. Vũ Đình Hiệp, deputy general director of the Việt Á asked the court to reconsider the charge on him.

Việt Á Technologies JSC also logged an appeal asking the court not to confiscate the amount of money determined to be illegally benefited from selling COVID-19 test kits to organisations and individuals who are not considered for prosecution in the case.

The company also requested that organisations purchasing test kits without going through bidding procedures must pay Việt Á according to the signed contract. In addition, Việt asked the court to lift blockade measures and transaction restrictions on its bank accounts and those of companies in its system that are not related to the case.

A number of individuals with related rights and obligations also appealed to the court to reconsider the settlement of assets related to them.

The hearing is scheduled to take place in three days.

In the first-instance trial from January 3-12 with 38 defendants, Việt was sentenced to 29 years in jail for giving bribes and violating bidding regulations, causing serious consequences. Long was sentenced to 18 years in prison for taking bribes.

Chu Ngọc Anh, former Minister of Science and Technology, and Phạm Công Tạc, former Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, were sentenced to three years in prison for violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness.

Other defendants in the COVID-19 kit test scandal received prison sentences ranging from 24 months to five years and six months in jail. — VNS