Nguyễn Ngọc Sự. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
HÀ NỘI — The High-level People’s Court in Hà Nội on Monday increased the penalty imposed on one of the four defendants charged with “abusing position and power to appropriate assets” at the State-run Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin).
The defendants consist of Vinashin former Chairman of the Members’ Council Nguyễn Ngọc Sự, former Chief Accountant and former head of the Financial Department Trần Đức Chính, former General Director Trương Văn Tuyến, and former Deputy General Director Phạm Thanh Sơn.
At the appeal trial, the court accepted the request made by the Hà Nội People’s Procuracy, which demanded the punishment on Nguyễn Ngọc Sự be increased. It decided to raise the prison sentence by three years to 16 years.
It also accepted the appeals lodged by Trương Văn Tuyến and Trần Đức Chính, reducing the respective prison terms for them to six years and 15 years, down one year and two years from the initial verdict.
Meanwhile, it rejected the appeal by Phạm Thanh Sơn and upheld his six-year imprisonment.
All four were declared guilty of abusing position and power while performing duties.
Judges said the conclusion issued at the first-instance trial in June was completely precise.
Accordingly, the four defendants together agreed to transfer the money the Government provided for Vinashin’s restructuring from checking accounts to fix-termed deposit accounts at the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank) to profit from higher interest and use the extra money that was not recorded in Vinashin’s papers to serve illegal spending and personal purposes.
At the time of their violation, Sự, then Chairman of the Members’ Council of Vinashin, initiated the deposit and directly signed 12 deposit contracts. He also directed Trương Văn Tuyến to authorise Trần Đức Chính to sign other contracts, deposit money, receive the extra money that excluded interest from OceanBank, and not record it in the firm’s documents.
Sự gained VNĐ8 billion (over US$344,500 at the current exchange rate) for himself and decided on the common spending among the four.
Investigators found that from 2010 to June 2014, Vinashin made more than 2,300 fixed-term deposit contracts involving nearly VNĐ104 trillion and some $181 million with OceanBank.
Chính appropriated VNĐ10 billion, Tuyến pocketed VNĐ3.5 billion, while Sơn bagged VNĐ1.2 billion.
The appeal trial’s jury ruled that Sự played the main role in the case and must bear the most responsibility for all the losses. His inconsistent testimony during investigation also indicated that he showed no sign of repentance as he intended to escape his responsibility and blame others for the wrongdoing although he was the business leader.
Therefore, Sự must face a stricter punishment, according to the jury.
The jury also declared the money the four defendants have to pay back at the trial. — VNS